Reece Shearsmith

By his own admission, Reece Shearsmith is "steeped in horror". But don't worry, he hasn't got deep-seated psychological issues, he just happens to enjoy the creepier kind of popular entertainment. Which does rather explain his part in Psychoville.

Reece Shearsmith

A sort-of follow-up to the League of Gentlemen, Psychoville was a chance for Reece to return to his horror roots. As with the League, he was able to tap into his childhood love of creepy classics like The Wicker Man, The Exorcist and Don't Look Now. Note to younger readers – these are proper horror films, so see them now, before they all get remade with Megan Fox.

While it's not all horror, horror, horror with Reece (he's starred in The Producers stage musical), he does have a certain knack for portraying characters of - how should we put this – questionable mental soundness. There was the robot-fetishising soldier on Spaced, for instance. And let's not forget Papa Lazarou, possibly the single scariest man in Royston Vasey (which is a bit like picking the scariest man in Broadmoor – high praise indeed).

Not content with filling the minds of viewers with unwholesome imagery, Reece managed to rope his own daughter into Psychoville – she's the little girl whose birthday party is invaded by the growling hook-handled clown Mr Jelly – played, of course, by her pop. It's no wonder then that, according to Reece, she refers to his glittering showbiz career as "Daddy's silly work".

If any pedants out there are lamenting the lack of actual biographical information in this so-called biog, we can also tell you that Reece was born in Hull, he studied drama at uni, and has a special talent for making up gibberish (don't we all). Oh, and his actual name is Reeson, not Reece. He's also bagged himself several awards for his work on the League of Gentleman, including the much sought after Golden Rose of Montreux, a British Television Academy Award and a Royal Television Society Award. Reece also oddly popped up in Max and Paddy's Road To Nowhere. Quite the chameleon, Reece went on to star in the west end musical, Betty Blue Eyes as a downtrodden chiropodist as well as playing the lead role in Ghost Stories in 2010, which was directed by fellow League star, Jeremy Dyson.

Along with playing quite intensely scary characters, Reece himself is actually quite an intimidating guy. Intent on keeping a lid on the surprises intended for the end of each episode of Psychoville and subsequently, each series, means that not only is he suspicious of every form of media bod trying to wangle spoilers out of him, but he is also pretty demanding of his viewers. There really is no point to watching this show if you can't get the old school horror references – the plot is complicated enough as it is.

Giving up on thoughts of being both a graphic designer and a make-up artist, Reece is also pretty harsh on his own achievements, citing his Drama degree as being on the same level as having a degree in washing up. A master of his art, Reece claims he won't ever write something that he isn't going to be in and claims that performing as a regular clown to children was the hardest gig he ever had – children just want to give everything away.

We'd love to give away all the secrets to Psychoville, but quite frankly, we wouldn't know where to start. You're on your on with that one. Well, unless you count the feeling of Reece over your shoulder checking you're paying attention that is. Mr Jelly's waiting...

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