Vic Reeves

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Vic Reeves
Vic reeves Middlesbrough.jpg
Birth nameJames Roderick Moir
Born(1959-01-24) 24 January 1959 (age 55)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
MediumStand up, Television
Years active1989–present
GenresSurreal humour, Physical comedy
InfluencesMonty Python, Spike Milligan, Malcolm Hardee, Eric Morecambe, Steve Martin
InfluencedCharlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Harry Hill, Jack Carroll

Sarah Vincent (1990–1999; 2 children)

Nancy Sorrell (2003-present; 2 children)
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"Jim Moir" redirects here. For the senior BBC executive, see James Moir.
Vic Reeves
Vic reeves Middlesbrough.jpg
Birth nameJames Roderick Moir
Born(1959-01-24) 24 January 1959 (age 55)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
MediumStand up, Television
Years active1989–present
GenresSurreal humour, Physical comedy
InfluencesMonty Python, Spike Milligan, Malcolm Hardee, Eric Morecambe, Steve Martin
InfluencedCharlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Harry Hill, Jack Carroll

Sarah Vincent (1990–1999; 2 children)

Nancy Sorrell (2003-present; 2 children)

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, 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, he and Bob 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]

Early life[edit]

James Roderick Moir 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.


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.[2] He is a keen amateur birdwatcher.[citation needed]

Moir 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.


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 Moir 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, he 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, he 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), Moir also joined the alternative comedy circuit under many different guises. These included a loudmouth 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. 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 given a slot on Channel 4 the following year. It was about this time that Vic and Bob 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 Bob 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 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 during the same period, Abide With Me, had little success. All three tracks appeared on his 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. 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 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.

In 2000, 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.[4]

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.[5]

On 20 February 2008, Reeves appeared onstage at the BRIT Awards to present the "Mastercard British Album" award to winners, the Arctic Monkeys. He was visibly disorientated and event 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 whilst 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, he is 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.[7]

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 began airing on 26 August 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, a light-hearted radio discussion show which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in two parts, either side of Halloween. The first part aired on 29 October 2009 and the second on 5 November 2009.[8]

Reeves also lends his voice to the Virgin Atlantic Airlines onboard safety video, alongside 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, 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.

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)TitleChannelRoleNo of EpisodesNotes
Big Star's Little StarITVContestant
with daughters Nell and Lizzie (2 October), credited as Jim Moir
Great British MenuBBC TwoGuest judge
Credited as Jim Moir
HebburnBBC Two[11]Joe Pearson
Credited as Jim Moir
The Million Pound DropChannel 4Contestant – with Bob Mortimer
Credited as Jim Moir
The Ministry of Curious StuffCBBCPresenter (with Dan Skinner)
Credited as Jim Moir
Vic Reeves' Turner Prize MomentsChannel 4Presenter
The Fun PoliceChannel 4Richard Traves
Pilot. Credited as Jim Moir
Eric and ErnieBBC 2George Bartholomew, father of Eric Morecambe
Credited as Jim Moir
Never Mind The BuzzcocksBBC 2Panelist – on Noel's team
Series 24 Episode 9
My Brilliant BritainBlightypresenter
Celebrity Come Dine With MeChannel 4waiter / support for contestant Sorrell
Dangerous Adventures For BoysFiveContestant (with son, Louis Moir)
Hole in the WallBBC OneContestant (with Sorrell)
The Culture Show UncutBBC TwoReporter
Take It Or Leave ItChallengeCelebrity contestant (with Sorrell)
2008 BRIT AwardsITVAward presenter
Would I Lie To You?BBC OnePanel member
8 Out of 10 CatsChannel 4Panel member
Loose WomenITVInterviewee (with Sorrell)
The One ShowBBC OneInterviewee
Something for the WeekendBBC TwoInterviewee
DeadlineITV2Contestant (with Sorrell)
Memoirs of a CigaretteChannel 4Contributor
Vic Reeves' PiratesHTV
the History Channel
Vic Reeves Investigates: Jack the RipperSky OnePresenter
Pirate Ship... LiveFivePresenter
The Big Fat Anniversary QuizChannel 4Guest appearance
Brainiac: Science AbuseSky OnePresenter
Series 5 & 6
Shaun the SheepCBBC
Theme tune "Shaun the Sheep – Life's a Treat"
Vernon Kay's Gameshow MarathonITV1Panel member
Blankety Blank episode
100 Greatest Stand UpsChannel 4Contributor
The Grumpy Guide to... ArtBBC TwoContributorSpinoff of Grumpy Old Men
Dale's Supermarket SweepITV1Contestant
Law of the PlaygroundChannel 4Contributor
The Truth About FoodBBC TwoContributor
QIBBC TwoPanel member
Never Mind the BuzzcocksBBC TwoPanel member
Turn Back TimeBBC TwoInterviewee
It's Funny Up North with... Vic ReevesTyne Tees
The Story of Light EntertainmentBBC TwoContributor
Summer ExhibitionBBC TwoPanel judge
Comedy Connections – "Shooting Stars"BBC OneSubject / Interviewee
Jools Holland's HootenannyBBC TwoInterviewee
Richard & JudyChannel 4Interviewee
Friday Night with Jonathan RossBBC OneInterviewee
The South Bank ShowITV1Subject / Interviewee
The Best & Worst of GodBBC TwoPresenter
Final Chance to SaveSky OneContributor
Rogues GalleryDiscovery Channel UKPresenter
The Death of CelebrityChannel 4Contributor
50 Greatest Comedy SketchesChannel 4Contributor
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!ITV1Contestant (with Sorrell)
Who Do You Think You Are?BBC TwoSubject
Star SaleBBC OneContributor
Hell's KitchenITV1Boorish Customer
BreakfastBBC OneInterviewee
Vic's Chicks (BBC Three (via the red-button)Presenter10 episodes
Auction ManBBC One
Most HauntedLivingTVCelebrity guest (with Sorrell)
Celebrity MastermindBBC TwoContestant
Reeves' specialist subject was "Pirates"
Surrealissimo – The Trial of Salvador DalíBBC Two
BBC Four
Paul Éluard
These Things Take Time – The Story of the SmithsITV1Narrator
It's Your New Year's Eve PartyBBC OneContributor
British Comedy Awards 2001ITV1Award presenter
I Love the '90sBBC TwoContributor
"I Love 1991" episode
We Know Where You Live. Live!Channel 4PerformerFour Yorkshiremen sketch
Comic Relief: Say Pants to PovertyBBC OnePresenter
Top TenChannel 4Contributor
"Prog Rock" episode
Vic Reeves ExaminesPlay UKPresenter
Robot WarsBBC TwoContestant
Night of a Thousand ShowsBBC One
Dale's All StarsBBC OneInterviewee
This Is Your LifeBBC OneContributor
Episode for Tom Baker
Clive Anderson All TalkChannel 4Interviewee
TFI FridayChannel 4Interviewee
Children in NeedBBC OneContributor
British Comedy Awards 1993ITV


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


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 comedy partner Mortimer, and alone.



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. ^ 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]