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Allan McKeown
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McKeown at the 1990 Emmy Awards
Allan John McKeown

(1946-05-21)21 May 1946
Ealing, London, England
Died 24 December 2013(2013-12-24) (aged 67)
Occupation Producer
Years active 1979–2013
(m. 1983)
Children 2

Allan McKeown (21 May 1946 – 24 December 2013), was a British television and stage producer.

Early life

McKeown was born in Ealing, London on 21 May 1946. His parents Edith Mabel (née Humphries) and Albert Victor 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 the TV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium and the films if.... (1968), Villain and Get Carter (both 1971).

Television producer

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 (US: Doing Time, 1979). 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, then 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, an international distribution web site. The company was sold in March 2000. In 2007, McKeown launched Allan McKeown Presents, Ltd. The company produced the Indian comedy series, Mumbai Calling as well as Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (2008–10).


McKeown was involved in the West End production of Anyone For Denis? (Whitehall Theatre, 1981) via Witzend Productions, and the Broadway show, The Big Love in 1991, a one-woman show starring Ullman. He produced the highly successful Jerry Springer: The Opera, winning an Olivier Award for Best Musical. He also produced Lennon, a musical based on the life of John Lennon.

Personal life

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.


McKeown died on Christmas Eve 24 December 2013 at the age of 67 in Los Angeles, California, from prostate cancer.



Year Title Notes
1979 Doing Time Producer
To Russia... With Elton Documentary short; producer
1980–1981 The Other 'Arf TV series; executive producer
1981–1983 Astronauts TV series; executive producer
1982 Dead Ernest TV series; executive producer
Shine on Harvey Moon TV series; executive producer
P.O.S.H TV short; executive producer
1983 Sunset Limousine TV movie; producer
1983–1986 Auf Wiedersehen, Pet TV series; executive producer
1985 Mog TV series; executive producer
Roll Over Beethoven TV series; executive producer
1985–1986 Girls on Top TV series; executive producer
1986–1994 Lovejoy TV series; executive producer
1988 Jake's Journey TV movie; producer
1989–1994 Birds of a Feather TV series; executive producer
1990 Freddie and Max TV series; executive producer
1991 So You Think You've Got Troubles TV series; producer
1992 Love Hurts TV series; executive producer
The Old Boy Network TV series; executive producer
Stand by Your Man TV series; executive producer
1993 Tracey Ullman: A Class Act Executive producer
Full Stretch TV series; executive producer
Westbeach TV series; executive producer
Over the Rainbow TV series; executive producer
Tracey Ullman Takes on New York Executive producer
1993–1996 Goodnight Sweetheart TV series; executive producer
1994 The New Statesman TV series; executive producer
1994–1995 Men of the World TV series; executive producer
1994–1996 Pie in the Sky TV series; executive producer
1995 Sometime, Never TV series; executive producer
An Independent Man TV series; executive producer
1996–1999 Tracey Takes On... TV series; creator; executive producer
2001–2002 Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines TV series; executive producer
2003 Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Executive producer
2005 Jerry Springer: The Opera Executive producer
Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed Executive producer
2007–2008 Mumbai Calling TV series; writer; executive producer
2008–2010 Tracey Ullman's State of the Union TV series; executive producer


Year Title Notes
1979 Porridge Producer


Year Title Notes
1991 The Big Love
2005 Jerry Springer: The Opera

See also

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