The comedian Vic Reeves has spoken for the first time about being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour that has left him deaf in one ear.
The 62-year-old, best known for his double act with Bob Mortimer as Vic and Bob, has a vestibular schwannoma, also known as acoustic neuroma, which is a type of non-cancerous brain tumour.
Reeves, whose real name is Jim Moir, revealed the diagnosis on the Adam Buxton Podcast, saying he needs regular MRI scans for his grape-sized tumour, which is being monitored for any changes.
He said: “I’ve got a vestibular schwannoma – it’s a tumour in my head.
“It’s benign. They can’t remove it – they can shrink it or they can just leave it and keep an eye on it, and that’s what they’re doing.”
Asked if this has distressed him, Reeves said: “No, not really, I would rather hear than not but this happened so you just get on with it, don’t you?
“I’ve got used to it, I like going out bird watching and I never know where the birds are. I can hear them but I don’t know what direction they are in.
“I had to throw away all my stereo LPs.”
Vestibular schwannoma is a benign growth in the brain that usually grows slowly over many years and does not spread to other parts of the body.
Acoustic neuromas grow on the nerve used for hearing and balance, which can cause problems such as hearing loss and unsteadiness.
Asked if he can hear anything at all in that ear, Reeves said: “It’s dead, absolutely, completely gone.
“I’m living with deafness. Can you imagine a life without stereo records? All I’ve got left is Frank Ifield on mono!”
Reeves’ TV debut came in December 1986 on Channel 4’s The Tube in a comedy gameshow segment called Square Celebrities. His career took off in the 1990s and the stage name Reeves is due to his fondness for the American singer Jim Reeves. He continued to work alongside Mortimer in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars and Bang Bang, among other shows.