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Click here. Receive the largest of hams.Perhaps best known in America as Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen in the Flash Gordon movie ("GORDON'S ALIVE?!" "DIIIIIIIIIVVEEEEE!!"), he is widely regarded as one of the Largest Hams in existence. However, he is by nature a stage actor, and his hamming is by design. As he has proven on (very) occasional films, he is actually capable of delivering a subtle and understated performance; he just usually doesn't bother (and is probably aware of why people hire him).He keeps in shape by climbing up large mountains. About the only thing on Earth larger than BRIAN BLESSED is Mount Everest, which he has attempted to scale three times without quite reaching the summit each time. No doubt due to his hamminess causing an avalanche to send him tumbling down. He had to rescue a companion who broke his leg on one occasion, halting a mere (mountain climbing terms) few hundred feet from the summit, according to that nice Mr. Stephen Fry, off of the telly.When not actively being a Large Ham (or sometimes at the same time, actually), Blessed is also an archetypal Boisterous Bruiser.Along with Diana Rigg and Jeremy Clarkson, he's from Doncaster. The fact that Doncaster is now also home to an extensive school and college for the deaf may not be coincidental.Old friend of Patrick Stewart who he describes having known from age 9 and studying William Shakespeare in his home. Mentions his father being adamant that his son wouldn't follow him down the mines.In his personal life, BLESSED is almost but not quite the exact opposite of his stage persona. BLESSED is a mild-mannered and soft-spoken man, who is a vegetarian, practices meditation and spends a lot of time caring for abused animals. He is well aware of his boisterous reputation and enjoys poking fun at it on TV chat shows and in public appearances.
Tropes related to BRIAN BLESSED:
Actor Allusion: BLESSED's character in I, Clavdivs — and, seemingly, his delivery — were referenced in a cameo in Gladiator, in which - despite appearing in only three frames of film - BLESSED's characteristic roar can be heard to demand 'KILL HIM!' clearly above the din of the crowd. Oddly, he also seems to be the one shouting "Maximus The Merciful!" in an approving tone when said request is not met...
One advert for an orange juice had him do the voiceover at the end. The theme tune? Queen's Flash.
Badass Grandpa: He is also the oldest man to have reached the North Pole on foot and until recently held the record for the highest Everest ascent without oxygen. He also once punched a polar bear in the face.
Gentle Giant: BLESSED may be calmer than apparent. During the filming of Prisoner of Honor he reportedly managed to keep Oliver Reed sober by sheer force of being big and scary.
In real life his favorite food is cows, which he eats whole and in one gulp. (Seriously, though, he's a vegetarian and regular meditator).
LARGE HAM: There's a reason his name is in bold, all caps letters throughout this site. This is not unique to this website; some forums such as Gallifrey Base (dedicated to Doctor Who, on which he once guest-starred) are actually programmed to automatically render his name in all caps whenever it's typed in.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: It is said by some that the character of Destruction (a sentient personification of difficult changes who has quit his job to become an artist) from The Sandman is based on him. Since author Neil Gaiman is one of the ones who says this, it is perhaps true but no less unlikely. Gaiman is dead set on having Blessed play the role of Destruction in a movie adaptation.
In a massive case of irony, there is a BRIAN BLESSED silent room at York University.
Odd Friendship: Surprisingly, Keanu Reeves claimed in an interview on British radio that during filming of Much Ado About Nothing, Blessed befriended him and taught him how to meditate. Moviegoers may attribute Reeves' performance to that fact — though one wonders why in the hell BRIAN BLESSED wasn't the one taking lessons from Keanu on the subject.
Another according to QI: his love of boxing in his youth put him him on good terms with the Dalai Lama (who liked to box in his youth, also): he sparred with the Dalai Lama!
Promoted Fanboy: When he was a child, he, his brother and their friends played a game based on the ''Flash Gordon"-TV series. Brian would always insist on the part of Vultan. Some decades later, he was offered to play Vultan in the 1980 film adaptation.
After a campaign by fans, tomtom have worked with Brian to record a voice track for their satnav appliances. The campaign's own demo video starring Brian himself can be found here on Youtube. His excited thanks to the 25,000+ people who signed up for the campaign can be found here. In response to their success, Brian suggested in an interview that somebody should make a campaign to send BRIAN BLESSED to the moon. note He has actually completed the 300 hours training to be able to be an astronaut if anyone wants to be locked in a small metal box with him.
Also, the Duke of Exeter in Branagh's Henry V. ("What treasure, Uncle?" "Tennis balls, my liege!")
His voice performance of Boss Nass (the Gungan king) in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was quite over the top and possibly the most fun performance in the entire movie.
"YOUSA NO TINKEN YOUSA GREATER THAN THE GUNGANS? Meesa liiike dis. Maybe wesa...bein' friends! *SHAKES JOWLS LOUDLY*"
In 1977, he appeared as the villainous hunter Brod in the third season Survivors episode "Law of the Jungle". He put in a performance that for anyone else would be over the top. For him, it qualifies as subtle. "You're not a tax inspector, are you, Charlie?!"
He served up not one, but two large portions in Space: 1999; the first as Dr. Cabot Rowland in first season episode "Death's Other Dominion", the second as Maya's father Mentor in second season opener "The Metamorph".
His crowning moment of hamminess is the Blake's 7 episode "Cygnus Alpha" in which just about every line he speaks could be replaced with "Did somebody order a LARGE HAM?".
Was also in the first season of Blackadder as King Richard IV ("Chiswick! Fresh horses!").
He has also been sighted presenting Unbeatable Banzuke, enthusiastically, in the guise of "Banzuke Brian" attired in what appears to be red plastic faux-samurai armour several sizes too small, on the UK's Challenge telly channel.
Made a second appearance as host in season 45, which (coincidentally) happened to be set right after Margaret Thatcher's death. Although noticeably subdued compared to his first appearance, the episode contained several gems such as challenging Gerry Adams to a fistfight on national television.
Also with Paul Merton he appeared on Room 101 demonstrating that his loudness was a choice in response to newsreader and presenter Kirsty Young wanting to put unnecessarily loud people in Room 101. Blessed took the role of a whispering snooker commentator for about 26 seconds.
He was on a Christmas episode of QI, in which he pulled Sean Lock off of his chair TWICE (by accident).
Recently appeared in The Wrong Door as Captain Goitier the train pirate.
He had a live-action role in the otherwise-execrable Wing Commander spinoff Privateer 2: The Darkening. A certain notorious web critic gave it a good skewering (though he regarded the non-playable FMV bits to be fairly sound).
Additionally, he narrated Viking: Battle for Asgard in which his narration stole the show and catapulted said game into the halls of awesome!
He voiced Santa in the Christmas episode of The Amazing World of Gumball. He's notably the first major guest-star voice on that series. Also notable in that Santa is rather closer to Brian Blessed in real life, being a polite (but brutally honest) gentleman even when he loses his memory and thinks he's a hobo.