Speakers Profile - Paul McCarthy

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Paul McCarthy works as an actor, writer, live performance director, voice artist, cabaret performer and comedian. He started out in the Melbourne University comedy revue Laminex On The Rocks during the second ever Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 1987.

Since the late 80s Paul has lovingly tormented audiences with strange comic creations Mel Toupe, Noeline Dragge, Paul Cheese (of The Cheese Brothers) and, more recently, cabaret sensation Cliff Hanger, along the way receiving two Green Room Awards for Cabaret and an award for Best Cabaret Show for Melbourne Fringe 2002.

He has appeared at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival three times: twice in his Cliff Hanger persona (in Cliff Hanger In Catch A Falling Star and with Pastel Vespa in Cliff and Pastel Together Again At Last!) and most recently in Michael Dalley's Green Room Award nominated cabaret Intimate Apparel.

Paul directed Fiona Scott-Norman's Green Room Award winning cabaret The Needle And The Damage Done (touring nationally in 2009).

Paul's tidy TV career saw him starting out as a guest actor on Neighbours, Thunderstone and The Saddle Club before becoming an ensemble member of sketch comedy show Totally Full Frontal (1998-9). More recently Paul's work on the long-running Logie award-nominated sketch series Comedy Inc: The Late Shift has been nominated for an AFI Award. His impersonations of ex-PM John Howard, new PM Kevin Rudd and would-be-PM-if-given-the-opportunity brekky TV host David Koch have won him broad acclaim, including the chance to open the 2007 TV Week Logie Awards as the Kochie character.

In 2008 Paul appeared in the clash of the comedic titans that is Comedy Slapdown (Foxtel) and guested as a villain on upcoming children's comedy drama series Snake Tales (Nine Network).

2009 has seen Paul return to prime-time TV with new sketch comedy program Double Take SevenNetwork), in which Paul showcases many of his alter-egos (Kochie, PM KRudd, Bert Newton, Tom Cruise, Jack Thompson to name a few) alongside a new generation of comic actors.

Paul lives in the central Victorian town of Kyneton where he divides his time between teaching English to foreign students and managing a burgeoning corporate entertainment career. He is father to a three-year-old girl whom he would love to impress by appearing on Play School (...fingers crossed).