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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, not by ineptitude or accident. 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). His crowning moment of hamness 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?". 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 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". In real life his favorite food is cows, which he eats whole and in one gulp.
Was also in the first season of Series/Blackadder as King Richard IV ("Chiswick! Fresh horses!"). Was far less hammy as the ghost in fellow large ham Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (he even managed to whisper loudly) and Signore Antonio in Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. Also, the Duke of Exeter in Branagh's Henry V. ("What treasure, Uncle?" "Tennis balls, my liege!") Surprisingly, Keanu Reeves claimed in an interview on British radio that during filming of Much Ado About Nothing, Blessed befriended him and taught him to meditate. Moviegoers who are sympathetic to Reeves might have thought it more likely if it was the other way around. Blessed might just be calmer than he looks.
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.
PLAYED HIS BEST AND HIS FAVOURITE ROLE AS THE SYMPATHETIC, TRAGICALLY NAIVE (YET STILL OCCASIONALLY BOMBASTIC) EMPEROR AUGUSTUS IN THE ACCLAIMED BRITISH MINI-SERIES I, CLAVDIVS. ("IS THERE ANYONE IN ROME WHO HAS NOT SLEPT WITH MY DAUGHTER?!!!")
THIS ROMAN ROLE, AND SEEMINGLY HIS DELIVERY, WERE REFERENCED WITH 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.
KNOWN TO BRITISH VIEWERS AS SPIRO IN THE 1987 VERSION OF THE TV SERIES MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS.
OUTSIDE OF ACTING HE HAS MADE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST, ALTHOUGH IT'S HARD TO SEE WHY - ALL HE REALLY NEEDS TO DO IS STAND NEXT TO IT (OR POSSIBLY GLARE FEROCIOUSLY UNTIL IT CROUCHES DOWN IN SUBMISSION).
RECENTLY APPEARED IN THE WRONG DOOR AS CAPTAIN GOLTIER THE TRAIN PIRATE.
HE'S ALSO APPEARED IN DISNEY'S ANIMATED ADAPTATION OF TARZAN AS CLAYTON, AND WENT ON TO REPEAT THE SAME ROLE IN KINGDOM HEARTS I. HIS PERFORMANCE WAS STILL QUITE HAMLIKE. HE ALSO PROVIDED THE "TARZAN YELL" FOR THE FILM. HIS VOICE PERFORMANCE OF BOSS NASS (THE GUNGAN KING) IN STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE WAS EQUALLY OVER THE TOP AND POSSIBLY THE MOST FUN PERFORMANCE IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE. ADDITIONALLY, HE NARRATED VIKING: BATTLE FOR ASGARD IN WHICH HIS NARRATION STOLE THE SHOW AND CATAPULTED SAID GAME INTO THE HALLS OF AWESOME!
HE ALSO APPEARED IN ORIGINAL SERIES DOCTOR WHO: ("TRIAL OF A TIME LORD: MINDWARP") AND UTTERED THE IMMORTAL LINE: "TODAY PRUDENCE SHALL BE OUR WATCHWORD. TOMORROW WE SHALL SOAK THE LAND IN BLOOD!" HAMTASTIC! HE THEN ENDED UP EITHER MARRYING PERI OR KILLING HER, DEPENDING ON WHICH OF THE UNRELIABLE NARRATORS YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE.
HE HAD NO LINES IN THE ALMOST-DIALOGUE-FREE SHORT FILM EXAM CONDITIONS, AND STILL MANAGED TO BE THE LOUDEST PERSON IN THE FILM.
HE WAS THE FIRST TO PLAY OLD DEUTERONOMY IN CATS. HE WAS THE ONE WHO CAME OUT AFTER THE SHOW FINISHED TO TELL THE AUDIENCE THAT THERE WAS A BOMB ALERT.
HE SOMEHOW MANAGED TO RAISE A SON WITH AN AMERICAN ACCENT IN ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, AND STILL WAS THE LOUDEST PERSON IN THE FILM, EVEN ON HIS CHARACTER'S LAST LINE: "GOD!! AND KINNNG RICHAARRD!!! YAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!"
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.
HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY FORM OF KNIGHT FEVER YET, POSSIBLY FOR FEARS HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH WOULD BURST EARDRUMS.
BEFORE BEING LOST IN A GENERAL REVAMP, HIS PAGE ON WIKIPEDIA DESCRIBED HIM AS "HIGHLY CHARISMATIC" IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. APPARENTLY, THEIR STRICT NPOV POLICY HAS NO BEARING HERE: "HE IS A HIGHLY CHARISMATIC MAN" IS NOT SIMPLY AN OPINION, BUT AN OBJECTIVE STATEMENT OF FACT.
EVEN WHEN PLAYING SANTA TO INTRODUCE THE MUSIC CHANNEL'S 'MAGIC'S CHRISTMAS TOP 50' HE MANAGES TO BE A WONDERFUL HO-HO-HAM.
IN LATE 2009, BLESSED PLAYED A TIME-DISPLACED HENRY VIII IN THE SHORT INTERNET SERIES 8.0 HENRY 8.0.
POPE GREGORY'S BLOCKED ME ON TWITTER!
I DON'T WANT A BLOODY RICE CAKE, THEY DON'T FILL ME UP! IT'S LIKE EATING CRUNCHY AIR!!!
AFTER A CAMPAIGN BY FANS, TOM TOM HAVE AGREED TO OPEN NEGOTIATIONS WITH HIM TO RECORD A VOICE TRACK FOR THEIR SATNAV APPLIANCES IF THEY REACH 25,000 MEMBERS ON THEIR FACEBOOK GROUP. A DEMO VIDEO STARRING BRIAN HIMSELF CAN BE FOUND HERE ON YOUTUBE!
...we told you. Now, unless you want to try reading this again...