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McKeown at the 1990 Emmy Awards
21 May 1946
|Died||24 December 2013
Los Angeles, California, US
|Spouse(s)||Tracey Ullman (m. 1983–2013)|
John McKeown was born in London on 21 May 1946. His parents Edith (née Humphries) McKeown and Victor Albert McKeown moved first to Hackney and then to Hainault, Essex. His father was the Clerk of Works at the new estate. Educated at Beal Grammar school in Ilford, he left early and became a trainee hairdresser at Vidal Sassoon in Bond Street. He was a figure in the London scene of the 1960s, and in 1966 he opened his own salon. As a hairdresser, he worked on a number of films and TV shows, Sunday Night at the London Palladium and films Villain, Get Carter and if.....
In 1969 he changed course and became a producer at James Garrett and Partners, at the time the largest TV commercials producer in the UK. He was appointed Managing Director shortly after joining. He left to form a production company Witzend with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Initially making commercials then the feature film Porridge. McKeown was the executive producer for Central Television's Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, with Clement and La Frenais as the show's main writers.
He was one of the first independent television producers in the UK. McKeown not only produced in Britain with his company, WitzEnd, but also produced in the US for all of the networks. In 1986, Witzend acquired Selectv, and in the process became a public company. The company grew as it added Alomo, a venture with writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran to its stable of production companies. In 1990, McKeown was a founding member of the Meridian consortium. The consortium was awarded the ITV television franchise for the South East of England.
McKeown was responsible for all of Meridian's comedy programming. In 1994 Selectv (the cable channel) was launched its programming, mainly programs produced by McKeown. In March 1996, McKeown accepted £51 million for SelecTV, now a broadcaster and a major supplier of television programs, from Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times. McKeown returned to the US producing the HBO comedy series, Tracey Takes On... for wife, Tracey Ullman. The series won six Emmy Awards. McKeown invested in the media launching web site itstv.com, an international distribution web site. The company was sold in March 2000. McKeown produced the Indian comedy series, Mumbai Calling. He later produced Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (2008–10).
The success of the West End's Anyone For Denis?, and the Broadway show, The Big Love, McKeown turned his attention to theatre full-time. He produced the massively successful Jerry Springer: The Opera, winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical. He also produced Lennon, a musical based on the life of John Lennon.
McKeown and Tracey Ullman married in 1983. They had two children and lived in both England and the United States. In 2006, McKeown and Ullman topped the "Wealthiest British Comedians" list, with an estimated net worth of £75 million.
- The Other 'Arf
- Full Stretch
- Shine on Harvey Moon
- Sunset Limousine
- Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
- Roll Over Beethoven
- Girls on Top
- Freddie and Max
- So You Think You've Got Troubles
- Birds of a Feather
- Tracey Ullman: A Class Act
- Love Hurts
- The Old Boy Network
- Stand by Your Man
- Over the Rainbow
- Tracey Ullman Takes On New York
- Men of the World
- Sometime, Never
- Goodnight Sweetheart
- Pie in the Sky
- Tracey Takes On...
- Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines
- Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales
- Jerry Springer: The Opera
- Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed
- Tracey Ullman's State of the Union
- Mumbai Calling
- Hayward, Anthony; La Frenais, Ian (31 Dec 2013). "Allan McKeown obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- Stephenson, John-Paul (27 December 2013). "Auf Wiedersehen Pet producer Allan McKeown dies". GiggleBeats. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Where the funny money is". Chortle. 29 December 2006.
- Saperstein, Pat (26 December 2013). "Producer Allan McKeown Dies at 67". Variety. Retrieved 29 December 2013.