Great Fictional Gentlemen - Beef (from House Of Fools) - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Great Fictional Gentlemen - Beef (from House Of Fools)

To think that it was only a month ago when we first met Beef in the pilot episode of House Of Fools, the new sit-com from Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer.

In 4 short weeks Beef has become something of a hero. From the moment he burst onto the screen wearing his black wood hat, singing about removing his pants and then releasing the words "CO-NAN THE BARBARIAN" we've been addicted.

He's highly sexual, overly flamboyant, loud, confident and has a penchant for the ladies, especially the African variety. How do you describe Beef to someone who's never seen him before? Well I think he's essentially a overly sexual 21st Century fictional version of Brian Blessed! That sums him up quite well I believe.

He's easily the funniest character on UK television right now and arguably the finest we have seen on British TV this decade.

Although he lives next door to Vic & Bob, Beef seems to exist in a different world to the rest of the cast. He's there on screen and interacts with them but you get the impression that half the time he has absolutely no idea what's actually going on around him or where he is, he's possibly living in some psychedelic dream world. He genuinely mistook his microwave as a broken television set, and thought that a jar of nerve agent would make a good pizza topping!

I think I'd like to live in Beef's world, it seems like an amazing place.

In each episode he appears in the finest collection of bizarre outfits, and then offers up the best anecdotes about where he got them and what materials they are made from. His heat proof Moroccan sausage skin and winkles muumuu dress has been our favourite so far. Closely followed by his most yellow of yellow belts, which he used to test if Bob likes butter.

Beef is widely traveled and seems to have quite a mysterious past, it turns out that at one time he produced some award-winning specialist features (a-hem).

Beef is marvelously portrayed to perfection by Matt Berry, probably best known as Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crowd. He's a genius comedy creation who frequently steals the show, and that's no easy task when you're performing with Vic, Bob and Dan Skinner.

In real life Matt Berry couldn't be more different to Beef, he's softly spoken and quite reserved. He claims he's typecast as lady-obsessed and sleazy, but when you perform the role as well as he does then it's no surprise.

I really hope that House Of Fools comes back next year for another series, we need an annual fix of Beef. In the meantime Matt Berry's new sit-com, Toast Of London, begins this Sunday night, 9th Feb, on Channel 4. We will be watching.

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