Vic Reeves

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"Jim Moir" redirects here. For the senior BBC executive, see James Moir.
Vic Reeves
Vic reeves Middlesbrough.jpg
Birth name James Roderick Moir
Born (1959-01-24) 24 January 1959 (age 56)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Medium Stand up, Television
Years active 1989–present
Genres Surreal humour, Physical comedy
Influences Monty Python, Spike Milligan, Malcolm Hardee, Eric Morecambe, Steve Martin
Influenced Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Harry Hill, Jack Carroll

Sarah Vincent (m. 1990–1999)

Nancy Sorrell (m. 2003)
Children 4

James Roderick Moir (born 24 January 1959), better known by the stage name Vic Reeves and sometimes credited as Jim Moir, is an English comedian, artist, actor and television presenter best known for his double act with Bob Mortimer (see Vic and Bob). He is known for his surreal and non sequitur sense of humour.

In 2003, Reeves and Mortimer were listed in The Observer 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 by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Reeves was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of James Neill (1926–2004) and Audrey Moir (née Leigh). At the age of five, he moved to Darlington, County Durham, with his parents and younger sister Lois. He attended Heathfield Infants and Junior School and went on to the nearby secondary school, Eastbourne Comprehensive in Darlington.

Reeves has four children, the eldest two by his first wife Sarah Vincent, who he married in 1990 and 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.

Reeves lives in Charing, near Ashford.[2]

He buried his classic Austin A40 Somerset in his back garden, as shown on the BBC's 1997 Omnibus documentary "A Film Of Reeves & Mortimer".


After school, Reeves undertook an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering, before moving to London and becoming a factory inspector.

Reeves 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 Reeves pretending to have a brass hand, and following a Terry Scott lookalike around Darlington town centre in single file formation). Eventually, they formed their own band. Reeves had an early breakthrough with the help of comedian Malcolm Hardee.

In 1983, Reeves began a part-time course at a local art college, developed his love of painting and eventually persuaded a local art gallery to stage an exhibition of his unique work. Although still primarily known as a comedian, Reeves is also gaining a reputation as an artist. His drawings and paintings have been used in his television shows and form a major part of his 1999 book, Sun Boiled Onions.

As Vic Reeves[edit]

As well as working and performing in bands in London, including being an original member of the Industrial/Experimental band Test Dept and performing onstage with them at their debut gig (then leaving soon afterwards), Reeves also joined the alternative comedy circuit under many different guises. These included a loudmouthed American called Jim Bell, a beat poet called Mister Mystery and, eventually, "The North-East’s Top Light Entertainer" – Vic Reeves. His stage show Vic Reeves Big Night Out began life as a regular Thursday night gig at Goldsmith’s Tavern, New Cross (now the New Cross House). Here, he met Bob Mortimer, a solicitor who attended the show and enjoyed it so much that he soon began to participate. Reeves' television début 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. Reeves' growing TV profile led to Big Night Out being given a slot on Channel 4 the following year. It was about this time that Reeves and Mortimer rented a back room at Jools Holland's office/recording studio in Westcombe Park, Greenwich where they would spend hours writing material.

Reeves continued to work alongside Mortimer as a comedy duo in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars, and Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer, some of which also featured future cast members of The Fast Show and Little Britain.

Reeves is one of the few comedians to have had a number one hit record in the UK Singles Chart, which he did in company with The Wonder Stuff, singing "Dizzy" (previously a number one hit for Tommy Roe). The original composition "Oh! Mr. Songwriter", recorded with the Images of Cream and supposedly featuring 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 during the same period, Abide With Me, had little success. All three tracks appeared on Reeves' album, I Will Cure You, released in 1991.

In 1995, Reeves collaborated with EMF, covering The Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer". Before finding fame, Reeves appeared in the Shakin' Stevens video promo for "What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For".[3]

A 1994 pilot written by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson entitled The Honeymoon's Over was due to feature Chris Bell, a character from The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer., however, the series was never commissioned. The same year, Reeves made a guest appearance on the Radio 1 series Shuttleworth's Showtime, hosted by John Shuttleworth.

Between August 1998 and May 1999, Reeves and Mortimer presented the Channel X produced BBC Saturday game show Families at War with 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.

In 2000, Reeves presented a series entitled, Vic Reeves Examines on UK Play, featuring 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 Reeves and Sorrell were both contestants in the fourth series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. He appeared in the series Catterick with mortimer appearing 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, Reeves presented a programme on ITV Tyne Tees about Northeast comedy culture called 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, where he investigated, and portrayed Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Captain Kidd, Claude Duval, Jonathan Wild, Rob Roy, Colonel Blood, George Ransley, Deacon Brodie, Blackbeard and Dick Turpin. 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.

On 8 May 2007, Reeves was the main presenter of Brainiac: Science Abuse during the fifth and sixth series, replacing Richard Hammond.[4]

Beginning in June 2007, Reeves presented a BBC Radio 2 panel game called Does the Team Think?.

On 17 November 2007, Reeves appeared in a weekly sketch show on BBC Radio 2, entitled Vic Reeves' House Arrest. . 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. 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, as well as Sorrell in multiple roles.[5]

On 20 February 2008, Reeves appeared onstage at the BRIT Awards to present the "Mastercard British Album" award to the Arctic Monkeys. He was visibly disorientated and co-host Sharon Osbourne called him a "pissed bastard" and repeatedly told him to "piss off".[citation needed] There have been claims by the Sun newspaper that Reeves' addled state was due to his autocue failing. In ITV's Teletext music magazine Planet Sound interview, which took place half an hour after the show, Reeves stated that he was trying to read the autocue, and was pushed away by Osbourne while trying to do his job. He called Osbourne's behaviour "unacceptable". Planet Sound defended Reeves saying, "for the record", he was not drunk, and declared that there are better people to present live awards ceremonies than the Osbournes, such as Jonathan Ross.

On 27 February 2008, Reeves announced that he and Mortimer were working together on a new sitcom about super heroes who get their powers through a malfunctioning telegraph pole.[6] He also reiterated his desire to bring back Shooting Stars for a 6th series. Along with his son, Reeves is also featured in one edition of a factual 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.[7]

On 25 August 2009, Reeves appeared as a guest on the BBC One's The One Show with Mortimer.

Series 6 of Shooting Stars began airing on 26 August 2009 with Reeves and Mortimer, along with Ulrika Jonsson and Jack Dee as team captains.

Reeves appeared as one of the guests in Reece Shearsmith's Haunted House, a light-hearted radio discussion show broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in two parts on either side of Halloween on 29 October 2009 and 5 November 2009.[8]

Reeves also lends his voice to the Virgin Atlantic Airlines onboard safety video, with Dani Behr.[9]

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. The plates were priced at £100GBP each.[10]

In July 2011, Reeves and Mortimer for a selection of YouTube improvised comedy sketches, in association with Foster's – They released their "Afternoon Delight" clips every weekday afternoon in July.

Television appearances[edit]

For Reeves' television appearances with Bob Mortimer, see Vic and Bob#Television.

Reeves has appeared without Mortimer on a number of British television shows, primarily game shows, poll programmes and charity telethons. These include:

Year(s) Title Channel Role No of Episodes Notes
Tipping Point: Lucky Stars ITV Contestant
Won. Credited as Jim Moir
Big Star's Little Star ITV Contestant
with daughters Nell and Lizzie (2 October), credited as Jim Moir
Great British Menu BBC Two Guest judge
Credited as Jim Moir
Hebburn BBC Two[11] Joe Pearson
Credited as Jim Moir
The Million Pound Drop Channel 4 Contestant – with Bob Mortimer
Credited as Jim Moir
The Ministry of Curious Stuff CBBC Presenter (with Dan Skinner)
Credited as Jim Moir
Vic Reeves' Turner Prize Moments Channel 4 Presenter
The Fun Police Channel 4 Richard Traves
Pilot. Credited as Jim Moir
Eric and Ernie BBC 2 George Bartholomew, father of Eric Morecambe
Credited as Jim Moir
Never Mind The Buzzcocks BBC 2 Panelist – on Noel's team
Series 24 Episode 9
My Brilliant Britain Blighty presenter
Celebrity Come Dine With Me Channel 4 waiter / support for contestant Sorrell
Dangerous Adventures For Boys Five Contestant (with son, Louis Moir)
Hole in the Wall BBC One Contestant (with Sorrell)
The Culture Show Uncut BBC Two Reporter
Take It Or Leave It Challenge Celebrity contestant (with Sorrell)
2008 BRIT Awards ITV Award presenter
Would I Lie To You? BBC One Panel member
8 Out of 10 Cats Channel 4 Panel member
Loose Women ITV Interviewee (with Sorrell)
The One Show BBC One Interviewee
Something for the Weekend BBC Two Interviewee
Deadline ITV2 Contestant (with Sorrell)
Memoirs of a Cigarette Channel 4 Contributor
Vic Reeves' Pirates HTV
the History Channel
Vic Reeves Investigates: Jack the Ripper Sky One Presenter
Pirate Ship... Live Five Presenter
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz Channel 4 Guest appearance
Brainiac: Science Abuse Sky One Presenter
Series 5 & 6
Shaun the Sheep CBBC
Theme tune "Shaun the Sheep – Life's a Treat"
Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon ITV1 Panel member
Blankety Blank episode
100 Greatest Stand Ups Channel 4 Contributor
The Grumpy Guide to... Art BBC Two Contributor Spinoff of Grumpy Old Men
Dale's Supermarket Sweep ITV1 Contestant
Law of the Playground Channel 4 Contributor
The Truth About Food BBC Two Contributor
QI BBC Two Panel member
Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two Panel member
Turn Back Time BBC Two Interviewee
It's Funny Up North with... Vic Reeves Tyne Tees
The Story of Light Entertainment BBC Two Contributor
Summer Exhibition BBC Two Panel judge
Comedy Connections – "Shooting Stars" BBC One Subject / Interviewee
Jools Holland's Hootenanny BBC Two Interviewee
Richard & Judy Channel 4 Interviewee
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross BBC One Interviewee
The South Bank Show ITV1 Subject / Interviewee
The Best & Worst of God BBC Two Presenter
Final Chance to Save Sky One Contributor
Rogues Gallery Discovery Channel UK Presenter
The Death of Celebrity Channel 4 Contributor
50 Greatest Comedy Sketches Channel 4 Contributor
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! ITV1 Contestant (with Sorrell)
Who Do You Think You Are? BBC Two Subject
Star Sale BBC One Contributor
Hell's Kitchen ITV1 Boorish Customer
Breakfast BBC One Interviewee
Vic's Chicks (BBC Three (via the red-button) Presenter 10 episodes
Auction Man BBC One
Most Haunted LivingTV Celebrity guest (with Sorrell)
Celebrity Mastermind BBC Two Contestant
Reeves' specialist subject was "Pirates"
Surrealissimo – The Trial of Salvador Dalí BBC Two
BBC Four
Paul Éluard
These Things Take Time – The Story of the Smiths ITV1 Narrator
It's Your New Year's Eve Party BBC One Contributor
British Comedy Awards 2001 ITV1 Award presenter
I Love the '90s BBC Two Contributor
"I Love 1991" episode
We Know Where You Live. Live! Channel 4 Performer Four Yorkshiremen sketch
Comic Relief: Say Pants to Poverty BBC One Presenter
Top Ten Channel 4 Contributor
"Prog Rock" episode
Vic Reeves Examines Play UK Presenter
Robot Wars BBC Two Contestant
Night of a Thousand Shows BBC One
Dale's All Stars BBC One Interviewee
This Is Your Life BBC One Contributor
Episode for Tom Baker
Clive Anderson All Talk Channel 4 Interviewee
TFI Friday Channel 4 Interviewee
Children in Need BBC One Contributor
British Comedy Awards 1993 ITV


For books on or by Reeves and Mortimer, see Vic and Bob#Books

  • Vic Reeves' Vast Book of World Knowledge – a surreal encyclopaedia with text and artwork by Reeves. Atlantic Books, Released in October 2009.[12]
  • Vic Reeves Me:Moir (Volume One) – autobiography by Vic Reeves, Virgin Books, 2006
  • Sunboiled Onions – diary, paintings and drawings by Vic Reeves, Penguin Books, 1999


For advertisements featuring both Reeves and Mortimer, see Vic and Bob#Advertising

Reeves has appeared in television advertisements for a number of products, both with Mortimer and alone.

  • An advertisement for Guinness quoted Reeves as saying "88.2% of statistics are made up on the spot"
  • Reeves also advertised Jools Holland's 2006 album Moving Out to the Country.
  • In 2011, Reeves was featured in an East Coast Trains television advertisement, promoting the first class service. During the advert, he is seen using his love of art by sketching and painting the surrounding passengers and on-board train attendant. Reeves also featured in a 2012 radio advert for the company.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cook voted 'comedians' comedian'". BBC News. 2 January 2005. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Vic Reeves puts 250 artworks on sale". BBC News Online. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "BBC Wales – Music – Shakin' Stevens – The Collection". Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  4. ^ BBC: Vic Reeves to host Sky's Brainiac
  5. ^ BBC – Radio 2 Comedy – Vic Reeves' House Arrest
  6. ^ "Journal Live". Reeves enjoys a Big Day Out with apprentices. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  7. ^ "Preview: My Brilliant Britain". Series preview. Sky. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Reece Shearsmith's Haunted House – Production Details, Plus Regular Cast and Crew". Comedy Guide entry. The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  9. ^ [1] Virgin Atlantic Safety Video
  10. ^ "Vic Reeves Kate on plate". The Sun (London). 29 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Plunkett, John (6 March 2012). "Vic Reeves to star in new BBC2 sitcom Hebburn". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Atlantic buys Vic Reeves' nous". News story. Retrieved 16 April 2008. 

External links[edit]