Jim Moir: ‘I’ve been trying to shake Vic Reeves off for about 20 years’

The comedian, 60, on his passion for painting, being accident-prone, and learning cool dances to surprise his twins

I came up with the Vic Reeves character for a stage project and people presume that’s my name, even when I do other acting jobs. I’ve been trying to shake it off for about 20 years. Vic started off as an overblown northern club compere, then slowly evolved into a complete idiot.

The first thing I remember – and this has been qualified by my mother – is being in a pram. She left me outside a shop and I remember seeing corrugated iron above me, so I was probably quite disturbed that she’d abandoned me. I also remember a kid called John Boxer, who locked me in his toy box.

My playground growing up was the fields and forests. I had a brief stint in London in my 20s, but I live in the country again now. I go walking and birdwatching. I’ve just finished a documentary about video arts and one of the films included a lot of wading birds on an estuary. I could name them all.

I’ve been accident-prone since I was a kid climbing trees and falling out. I’ve come off a few motorcycles. A few years ago, I went under a tractor. I’ve been under a lorry. The last time, I had a huge bruise on my left buttock, like a black plate, so I had to sit in a peculiar position. I tried to keep it quiet, but it was spotted one morning when I got out of bed.

Painting is my chief passion. I’ve always done it. I’ve just put a bit more effort into it over the past 10 years. It pays more money than other work for a start. I’ve got notebooks all round the house and I go into my studio at the end of my garden virtually every day.

I’m still lively, 60 is like 40 now, isn’t it? I’ve just finished a Big Night Out and I was leaping off the desk. I got famous in my 20s, so I kind of stick at that age.

I’ve got a 26-year-old, a 22-year-old and two 13-year-olds. The twins think I’m some ancient megalith. What I really like doing is surprising them by secretly studying things that make me look cool, like learning the Fortnite dance.

I cook every day and find it really relaxing. I’ve got a huge amount of cookery books. It’s usually traditional British and French cooking, but then I’ll go off-piste. I’ve just been doing Ainsley Harriott’s Caribbean.

There’s a lot to be depressed about, so I try to avoid doing it. The constantly hot summers are a bit of a worry. And plastic. We were at a fish and chip restaurant recently and they had sachets of vinegar. I found myself being a grumpy old man: “Look at all this plastic, why don’t you just have the vinegar in a bottle?” I don’t say it publicly, I just do my own private mithering. After my early youth of thinking isn’t socialism fantastic, I let life pass by.

Jim Moir presents Bauhaus Rules with Vic Reeves on iPlayer until 20 September

Caroline Rees

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Simon Blackwell: ‘I nearly died in an old Smithfield meat market van’
The comedy writer, 53, who gave us The Thick of It and David Copperfield, on Oscar nominations, lucky breaks and why we’ll miss the BBC when it’s gone

Michael Segalov

29, Feb, 2020 @2:00 PM

Article image
Jamie Demetriou: ‘Crisps are the sensory soundtrack of childhood’
The actor, 34, on gherkins, slugs and choosing his own bedtime

Michael Hogan

18, Dec, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
Romesh Ranganathan: ‘If someone says “did you enjoy that?” I know I’ve died on my arse’
The comedian, 40, talks about being a maths teacher, a near-death experience and trying to be funny when he met Jack Dee

Hayley Campbell

20, Oct, 2018 @1:00 PM

Article image
Bob Mortimer: ‘I’m comfortable with getting older, but I try not to look in the mirror’
The comedian, 62, tells Katherine Hassell about growing up shy in Middlesbrough, losing his dad, meeting Vic Reeves, and the deep contentment of fishing

Katherine Hassell

09, Oct, 2021 @1:00 PM

Article image
Richard Ayoade: ‘I’m even more humble than people expect’
The comedian, 42, tells Rich Pelley about cheap shoes, law degree shaming, meeting The Edge and being from Ipswich

Rich Pelley

14, Sep, 2019 @1:01 PM

Article image
Meera Syal: ‘I was a Midlands wench outside the house and a good Indian girl at home’
The comedian, 60, tells Michael Segalov about growing up wild in the Black Country, marrying her on-screen grandson and finally being able to be a grumpy old woman

Michael Segalov

04, Sep, 2021 @1:00 PM

Article image
Judi Love: ‘Working in a hairdresser was the best education’
The comedian, 42, talks about growing up shy, forgetting names, loving being a mum, and getting free haircuts

Michael Segalov

25, Mar, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
Al Murray: ‘If comics become respectable, they’re no longer funny’
The comedian, 50, on campaigning against Nigel Farage, working hard at being a standup and why he loves playing in a band

Louis Wise

13, Apr, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Joe Lycett: ‘I’m being ghosted by Peppa Pig’
The comedian, 33, tells Michael Hogan about funny anger, homophobic hecklers, selling soffits and his trouble with Heinz pasta shapes

Michael Hogan

28, Aug, 2021 @1:00 PM

Article image
Daisy Haggard: ‘I love getting older. I care less about what people think’
The actor, 43, tells Michael Hogan about hiding from her children in bed, hanging out with Matt LeBlanc and her love of Wotsits

Michael Hogan

22, May, 2021 @1:00 PM