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Matthew Kelly (born David Kelly, 9 May 1950, Urmstonmarker, Lancashiremarker, England) is an English actor, who made his name as a television presenter.

Early life

As a child, Kelly lived on Primrose Avenue in the town and became interested in acting at the Urmston Musical Theatre, most notably playing the role of Louis in a production of The King and I in 1963.

He trained as an actor at The Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatremarker (Formally Manchester Polytechnic) and joined in a theatre group which included Julie Walters and Pete Postlethwaite. After graduation, he made his professional debut at the Pavilion Theatre in Rhylmarker. After this debut he appeared regularly at Liverpoolmarker's Everyman Theatremarker. He is a former member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party [55294].


His first major TV appearance was in the situation comedy Holding the Fort (LWT/ITV) in 1980 but became famous as part of the original team on Game for a Laugh for the same producers and network. For the next 14 years his work centered on light entertainment shows such as You Bet! (LWT/ITV) and, most notably, Stars in Their Eyes (Granada/ITV), which he took over from Leslie Crowther - initially on a part time basis until Crowther could not return due to ill health, and went on to host for 11 years until March 2004. He was also the first CITV presenter and continued to act occasionally, notably in the Channel 4 comedy, Relative Strangers, and in the theatre production of The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari.

After leaving Stars in their Eyes, Kelly declared that he would be returning to acting full time and would leave light entertainment behind. To this end he has appeared in a number of television and theatre productions. In 2005 he was a member of the cast in BBC One's Bleak House as Mr. Turveydrop. He also played a serial killer in 2005's Cold Blood and its 2007 sequel, as well as the explorer Giovanni Belzoni in BBC One's Egypt.

On the stage he won an Olivier Award in 2003 for his portrayal of Lenny in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at the Savoy Theatremarker. Other work includes Ripafratta in Mirandolina at the Royal Exchange Theatremarker in August 2006 which he swiftly followed by appearing as a well-received Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus.

In 2009 he has been on stage to high critical acclaim, in Howard Barker's Victory [55295].; Choices in Reaction at the Arcola Theatre, then as George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Lichfield Garrick Theatremarker, followed by a season at London's Trafalgar Studios. The summer was spent as Pandarus in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida at The Globe in London. He opened in Comedians at the Hammersmith Lyric in October 2009.


In 2003 Kelly was accused of child molestation in connection with allegations dating back to the 1970s, but no charges were brought.


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