Vic Reeves

Best known as half the comedy duo Vic and Bob with Bob Mortimer, the English Comedian James Moir (Vic Reeves) was born 24 January 1959, in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire. At the age of five, he moved to Darlington, County Durham, and attended Heathfield Infants and Junior School and, Eastbourne Comprehensive in Darlington. After school, Moir undertook an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering, before moving to London and becoming a factory inspector. He also formed the Fashionable Five, a group of five friends (including Jack Dent, who ran the original Fan Club) who would follow bands like the Enid and Free onto stage, and perform pranks (including Moire pretending to have a brass hand, and following a Terry Scott lookalike around Darlington town centre in single file formation). Before finding fame, Reeves appeared in the Shakin’ Stevens video promo for “What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For. Eventually, they formed their own band. In 1983, he began a part-time course at a local art college, developed his love of painting and his unique work was also exhibited in a local art gallery. His drawings and paintings have been used in his television shows and form a major part of his 1999 book, Sun Boiled Onions. He also featured in A 1994 pilot written by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson entitled The Honeymoon’s Over which was never made. The same year, Reeves made a guest appearance on the Radio 1 series Shuttleworth’s Showtime, hosted by John Shuttleworth.

As well as working and performing in bands, in London, Moir also joined the alternative comedy circuit as a loudmouth American called Jim Bell, a beat poet called Mister Mystery and, also portrayed “The North-East’s Top Light Entertainer” – Vic Reeves. During His stage show Vic Reeves Big Night Out he met Bob Mortimer, a solicitor who enjoyed it so much that he soon began to participate. His television debut came in December 1986 on Channel 4 Television’s The Tube in a comedy game show segment called “Square Celebrities”, suspended by a wire to ask the “celebrities” questions. His next appearance was on the short-lived chat/comedy show One Hour with Jonathan Ross in a game show segment known as Knock Down Ginger. His growing TV profile led to Big Night Out being broadcast on Channel 4. Reeves continued to work alongside Bob Mortimer as a comedy duo in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars, and Bang Bang, It’s Reeves and Mortimer, which also featured future cast members of The Fast Show and Little Britain.

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer were listed as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In a 2005 poll to find the Comedians’ Comedian, Reeves and Mortimer were voted the 9th greatest comedy act ever. Moir has four children, the eldest two by his first wife Sarah Vincent, whom he married in 1990. They divorced in 1999. He met his second wife, Nancy Sorrell, in 2001, and the couple married on 25 January 2003. Sorrell gave birth to twin girls at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, on 25 May 2006. He lives in Charing, near Ashford. He Is a keen birdwatcher and buried his classic Austin A40 Somerset in his back garden, as shown on the BBC’s 1997 Omnibus documentary – A Film Of Reeves & Mortimer. He also appeared on the ITV show Mr and Mrs with his wife Nancy. Reeves is also one of the few comedians to have had a number one hit record in the UK Singles Chart, with The Wonder Stuff, singing “Dizzy” (previously a number one hit for Tommy Roe). The original composition “Oh! Mr. Songwriter”, featuring Bob Mortimer on mandolin was the B side released with a version of Born Free, which was critically acclaimed and also reached the top ten. A third single, Abide With Me, was Followed by an album, I Will Cure You. In 1995, Reeves collaborated with EMF, covering the Monkees’ hit “I’m a Believer”.

Between August 1998 and May 1999, Reeves and Mortimer presented the Channel X produced BBC Saturday night family game show Families at War alongside Alice Beer. Reeves played Marty Hopkirk in the BBC’s 2000–2001 thriller series Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) – a revival of the original 1960s series, with Mortimer as Randall, Emilia Fox as Jeannie and Tom Baker as Wyvern. In2000, he presented a series entitled, Vic Reeves Examines on UK Play. The programme featured celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Johnny Vegas, Lauren Laverne and Emma Kennedy discussing a topic of their choice. The same year, Reeves presented a one-off radio show on BBC Radio 1, entitled Cock of the Wood. In 2004 he and Sorrell were both contestants in the fourth series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!. Along with Mortimer, he appeared in the series Catterick as several characters.In September 2005 Reeves hosted a show for Virgin Radio called Vic Reeves Big Night In produced by Mark Augustyn, for a short period on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7.00pm. In May 2006 he presented a programme on ITV Tyne Tees about Northeast comedy culture, It’s Funny Up North with… Vic Reeves. Reeves presented a historical ten-part series, entitled Rogues Gallery, which was shown on the Discovery Channel (UK) in 2005. In the series, he investigated, and portrayed Anne Bonny & Mary Read, Captain Kidd, Claude Duval, Jonathan Wild, Rob Roy, Colonel Blood, George Ransley, Deacon Brodie, Blackbeard and Dick Turpin. Nancy Sorrell also appeared in some episodes.

continuing in this vein, Vic Reeves’ Pirates was shown on ITV West, and subsequently on the History Channel in 2007. In 2007, Reeves hosted a show called Vic Reeves Investigates: Jack the Ripper. Reeves, with the help of historians and leading experts, tried to discover who Jack the Ripper was. At the end of the show, he came to the conclusion that Jack the Ripper was Francis Tumblety. He was the main presenter of Brainiac: Science Abuse during the fifth and sixth series, replacing Richard Hammond, who quit the show. The series began on 8 May 2007.Beginning in June 2007, Reeves presented a BBC Radio 2 panel game called Does the Team Think?. In late 2007, Reeves appeared in a weekly radio-based sketch show on BBC Radio 2, entitled Vic Reeves’ House Arrest. The first episode was broadcast on 17 November 2007 and the series ran for six episodes. The show’s premise was that Reeves had been put under house arrest for “a crime he didn’t commit”, and each episode consists of the various events that take place in and around his house on a particular day. Reeves’ comedy partner Bob Mortimer plays his housecall-making hairdresser, Carl, while other performers include The Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding as a local vagrant who comes to Reeves’ door on a weekly basis looking for work, and Reeves’ wife Nancy Sorrell in multiple roles. On 20 February 2008, Reeves appeared visibly disorientated onsttage at the BRIT Awards alongside Sharon Osborne, to present the “Mastercard British Album” award to winners, the Arctic Monkeys. He has stated that he was trying to read the autocue, and was pushed away by Osbourne whilst trying to do his job. He called Osbourne’s behaviour “unacceptable”. Planet Sound defended Reeves, saying “for the record” he was not drunk.

Moir also featured in one edition of a factual TV series for Five, Dangerous Adventures for Boys, based on the best-selling book written by Conn and Hal Iggulden, The Dangerous Book for Boys. In February 2009, Reeves appeared as presenter of the first episode of My Brilliant Britain, one of the new television shows commissioned for UKTV People channel’s relaunch as Blighty on 25 August 2009, Reeves appeared as a guest on the BBC One programme The One Show alongside Bob Mortimer. Series 6 of Shooting Stars aired 2009 with Reeves returning as co-host with Mortimer, along with Ulrika Jonsson and Jack Dee as team captains. Reeves appeared as one of the guests in Reece Shearsmith’s Haunted House, Reeves also lends his voice to the Virgin Atlantic Airlines onboard safety video, alongside Dani Behr.In May 2011, Reeves commemorated the Royal Wedding by painting 100 plates bearing a picture he drew of William and Kate, with the slogan “Our future King and Queen, Bill and Cath.” He also painted a vase, which bore a shirtless William. In July 2011, Vic rejoined Bob for a selection of YouTube Improvised Comedy Sketches, in association with Foster’s – They released their “Afternoon Delight” clips every weekday afternoon in July. Reeves has also appeared without Mortimer on a number of British television shows, primarily game shows, poll programmes and charity telethons.

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