Joining Benny Hill and Peter Kay on the exclusive list of comedians to have scored a U.K. number one single, student favorite Vic Reeves became just as famous in the early '90s for his musical prowess as he did for his alt-comedy double act with Bob Mortimer. Born James Roderick Moir in Leeds in 1959, he studied for an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering and worked as a factory inspector before forming anarchic outfit the Fashionable Five, who started out performing on-stage pranks at various gigs before deciding to become a band themselves. After changing his name to Vic Reeves, the "North East's Top Light Entertainer" character he regularly played on the London comedy circuit, he forged a partnership with former solicitor Bob Mortimer and their surreal slapstick humor quickly earned them a cult following. After appearing on One Hour with Jonathan Ross, they were commissioned to produce their own show, Vic Reeves' Big Night Out, and went on to become one of the '90s most successful comedy duos, thanks to shows like Shooting Stars and The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer.
Reeves, whose first taste of fame was an appearance in a Shakin' Stevens video, continued the simultaneous pursuit of a music career, providing vocals for Jools Holland's 1990 single "Holy Cow" before topping the charts a year later with his cover version of Tommy Roe's "Dizzy," alongside the Wonder Stuff. His debut album, I Will Cure You, which featured his covers of "Born Free," also a Top Ten single, and the hymn "Abide with Me," alongside a duet with the Human League's Phil Oakey, followed, but his only other release since then has been his 1995 number three collaboration with EMF and Mortimer on a reworking of the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." Reeves has since diversified into other areas, playing one of the two lead roles in the BBC's remake of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), presenting a ten-part historical series for The Discovery Channel, and releasing a critically acclaimed book of his own artwork in 2009. ~ Jon O'Brien