There are numerous talented comedians available to book, but how many of them are also TEDtalk speakers? Karen Dunbar has the talent, drive and onstage professionalism to offer a wide range of event entertainment, from comedy to after-dinner speaking. Completely candid about her journey to comedic success, Karen has proven herself time and time again to be an entertainer in a million.
Raised in Glasgow, Karen's first onstage experience was as a DJ and karaoke host. In 1997, she attended The Comedy Unit’s open auditions and was later cast in Chewin' The Fat, a BBC Radio Scotland series. The show, created by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, was immensely popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s - its kickstarted Karen's career. Such success was followed by her own show, titled The Karen Dunbar Show, which was nominated for Best Comedy Show and Best Comedy Performance.
Karen spent the latter part of the 2000s in pantomime, performing in Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Cinderella. The definition of adaptable, Karen refused to let her comedic beginnings limit her as an actress. She left the theatre to experiment with more serious shows, including a poetic monologue named A Drunk Woman Looks at the Thistle.
Forever drawn back to the laughter of audiences, Karen took part in a series entitled Happy Hollidays. The Scottish situational comedy, broadcast on BBC Scotland presented the hilarious drama of two rival caravan parks, with Karen playing Joyce Mullen. From CBBC's M. I. High in 2009 to presenting the XX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in 2014, there is seemingly no limit to Karen's versatility and talent.
Recent success includes a 2019 tour with both Calendar Girls and Still Game Live: The Final Farewell, reflecting Karen's position at the forefront of comedy. While featuring at events, this TEDtalk speaker can discuss both the emotional importance of laughter as well as perform side-splittingly hilarious sets. Having won the Role Model of the Year award at the 2015 Icon Awards, Karen's advocacy for LGBT+ acceptance makes her an authority on diversity.