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Maria Kempinska founded the world famous Jongleurs Comedy Club in 1983. Maria, a teacher of English and Drama, independently created the Jongleurs brand on a £300 overdraft with a bicycle as collateral. Within the first two years famous acts like Eddie Izzard, Lee Evans, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, Harry Enfield, Paul Merton, Mike Kyers and Arthur Smith were regulars. Jongleurs became the springboard for comedic talent.
By 2000, having created 16 clubs and a TV series “Jongleurs Live”, the clubs were valued at £30m and her share sold to her partners Regent Inns. Leaving Maria with the brand, in 2009 she bought the clubs back from Regent Inns for £1 and started again.
She has also produced TV series for comedy and is a foremost spokesperson for stand-up comedy and produced a number of films. She was awarded an MBE for services to Leisure and Entertainment.
She is owner of the Dingwalls Music brand and is in the process of developing it to becoming a major music company. She also acts as a non-executive various companies and helps a number of start-ups. She also produces theatre shows.
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