Kev Orkian is a British-Armenian musician, comedian and actor born in London to Armenian parents. He has performed around the world from New York City,[1] Los Angeles and Toronto[2] to Dubai,[3] Oman and Australia. Orkian has been compared to the likes of Victor Borge, Bobby Crush, and Dudley Moore.[4]

Kev Orkian
Kev orkian.jpg
Born (1974-02-13) 13 February 1974 (age 45)
OccupationMusician, Comedian, Actor
Kev Orkian (2011)

Between 2003 and 2009, Kev Orkian spent a lot of his time touring the UK as the support act for some of the biggest names in British comedy[5] and has previously starred in West-End London musicals including Fame, Happy Days and Boogie Nights[6] alongside Dancing on Ice winner and Emmerdale actress Hayley Tamaddon.

In 2009 Kev Orkian became a regular on the UK comedy circuit performing at well-known clubs such as Jongleurs where his comedy rendition of Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing' has been described as Comedy Gold, and has generated standing ovations.[7]

On 23 September 2009 Event Magazine reported that Orkian won the final of The Next Big Thing - the event industry's version of The X Factor, which was held at Event UK in Birmingham.[8]

On Thursday 10 June 2010, Orkian performed for Prince Philip, celebrating his 89th birthday at the Guards Polo Club. The event fell behind schedule and Prince Philip was set to leave – before Kev got on stage – to get to another engagement. But as soon as Orkian started his sketch the Prince decided to sit back down and watch the full act. So impressed was he that instead of rushing off at the end he stayed even longer to congratulate Orkian in person. Prince Philip was quoted as saying "It’s a wonderful show. I thoroughly enjoyed your performance".[9]

Also in June 2010 Orkian performed a live comedy 'sketch' with opera diva Katherine Jenkins for a private birthday party at which Motown legend Lionel Richie also performed, along with the NSO (National Symphony Orchestra) and comedians Bobby Davro and Jethro.[10] The comedy routine was an updated version of an old Victor Borge sketch which Orkian had developed with Katherine Jenkins.

Britain's Got TalentEdit

In May 2010 Orkian took part in series 4 of ITV's flagship entertainment show Britain's Got Talent, with his first appearance on Saturday 29 May, the last show of the first round auditions. In this appearance, during which Orkian performed his trademark Elton John scratchy CD version of 'I'm Still Standing', he gained three YES votes from Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan, the latter of whom commented "That is one of the smartest things I've seen", winning himself a place in the live semi-final on Tuesday 1 June.

High-street bookmakers Coral reported one of the biggest gambles in reality TV history on piano playing funny man Orkian to win the talent show stating "With the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent set to get underway in just a few hours, Coral are reporting one of the biggest gambles in reality TV history on piano playing funny man Kev Orkian to win the talent show. Orkian has been cut from 100/1 to 9/1 with the firm, and he is now the fourth favourite behind Spellbound, who are 2/1 favourites, Olivia Archbold (7/2) and Liam McNally, at 13/2. Coral spokesman Gary Burton told Bettingpro: "The few pounds we saw first thing this morning at 100/1 and 80/1 quickly turned into three figure bets at shorter prices, he will cost us a fortune if he wins. It's been an incredible punt!"".[11]

Despite missing out on a place in the Britain's Got Talent final and losing the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Show, Orkian nevertheless beat winners Spelbound and the other finalists to the post of performing for Royalty. Orkian entertained Prince Philip less than two weeks after being booted off the show and had already performed for several other members of the Royal family including Prince Charles and Princess Michael of Kent. Orkian was invited to perform for Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in 2009 for the British Forces Foundation 10th Gala Dinner. Classical singer Katherine Jenkins and comedian David Walliams also attended. Orkian was granted access to one of the castle's bedrooms to prepare for the comedy piano sketch and he recalls the moment he turned to see Prince Charles turn bright red with laughter during his act: "I was amazed". After the sketch, Prince Charles congratulated him and said he was an "absolute genius".[12]


Since 1999 Orkian has starred in the British tradition of pantomime alongside a plethora of British stars including Leslie Grantham, Julian Clary, husband and wife team Linda Lusardi and Sam Kane, John Inman and Claire Sweeney.[13]

In December 2009 he starred as Chester The Jester in Sleeping Beauty alongside singer/actress Claire Sweeney at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley.[14]

2010 was the first year for over a decade that Orkian did not perform in panto, deciding to concentrate on private bookings and presenting his own full one-man show. 2011 saw Orkian perform in the biggest pantomime in the UK alongside comedy legend Dame Edna Everage at the Wimbledon Theatre for FFE productions.

In 2018 he starred as Smee in the Leicester Peter Pan alongside singer Sam Bailey

Edinburgh Fringe FestivalEdit


In August 2010 Orkian made his debut appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, taking his full one-man show, 'Kev Orkian - The Illegal Tour', to the Underbelly on Cowgate.[15]

Trystan Davies, of Fringe Guru awarded the show five stars, stating "Kev Orkian is an acknowledged rising star, and has been rightfully compared to Victor Borge and Dudley Moore."[16] Liz, of, also awarded the show a full score of five stars, saying: "This show is one of the few which had us laughing all the way through and received a standing ovation, which is rare for Fringe shows."[17]

The show received similar reviews from the British comedy guide, awarding the show four and a half out of five;[18] and ThreeWeeks magazine, who gave it four out of five stars.[19]



Kev Orkian booked an arena tour in South Africa in April performing to 6000 people per night, followed by a tour of the Middle East in late April. Orkian headlined the South African Vodacom Funny Festival from 10 June to 7 July; he is the first British comedian to headline five times. In Kev Orkian was featured in the Dead Air Show podcast.[20]


David Baddiel's stage version of The Infidel has cast Orkian as its star.[21]

In 2015 Orkian was chosen to play the role of Dudley Moore in the production of Goodbye The After-Life of Cook & Moore. In June/July he performed in Sydney Australia in Bonnie Lythgo's Winter Spectacular Show Aladdin, soon after flying to Afghanistan to entertain the troops stationed there.


  1. ^ "Comedian Kev Orkian in NYC". Retrieved 17 April 2009.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Homenetmen Events". Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  3. ^ "UAE Armenian Diary". Retrieved 17 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Fringe Guru - Kev Orkian". Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Comedy CV". Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Boogie on Down". Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  7. ^ "Comedy Gold at Jongleurs". Retrieved 6 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Illegal immigrant comedian wins The Next Big Thing". Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Britain's Got Talent Comic Kev Orkian Amuses Prince Philip". Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Katherine Jenkins Official Blog". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Britain's Got Talent Latest Betting – Kev Orkian Supported Ahead of Britain's Got Talent Semi-Finals". Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Britain's Got Talent Star Enjoys Royal Variety". Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Preview of Pantomime Dates and Details for 2003/4". Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  14. ^ "The Churchill Bromley - What's On". Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  15. ^ "Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe 2010". Retrieved 10 June 2010.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Davies, Trystan. "FringeGuru Kev Orkian". Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  17. ^ Liz. "Review: Kev Orkian - The Illegal Tour - LoveFringe - Edinburgh Fringe Festival Reviews". Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  18. ^ " British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  19. ^ "Unlimited ThreeWeeks". Retrieved 19 August 2010.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Dead Air Show with Kev Orkian & Full interview
  21. ^ David Baddiel's musical version of The Infidel to star Kev Orkian

External linksEdit