Doncaster actor Brian Blessed teams up with artist with bizarre surprise for uni student

Doncaster acting legend Brian Blessed teamed up with a cult online artist – to deliver a university student a bizarre and unexpected surprise.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:30 am

The booming-voiced star teamed up with offbeat artist Jim’ll Paint It to track down and surprise a student at Exeter University – who had been pictured wearing a surreal t-shirt sporting the Flash Gordon favourite on the front cover of a university prospectus.

Jim, who creates surreal scenes using only Microsoft Paint, wanted to say thank you to the student – named only as Ben – and asked the actor to help him with a surprise for sporting the t-shirt, which features Blessed and music star Goldie fighting it out atop vaccum cleaners in an offbeat design.

And that surprise was a photo of Blessed sporting a t-shirt with Ben on it instead.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Actor Brian Blessed teamed up with Jim'll Paint It to surprise Exeter University student Ben. (Photos: Jim'll Paint It/Exeter University).

Writing about the stunt on social media, Jim said: “Update on the Exeter Uni guy. Was trying to think what to get Ben (the guy wearing the Brian Blessed on a hoover T-shirt) as a surprise present. How about a photo of Brian Blessed wearing a T-shirt of him riding a hoover?

“Huge huge kudos to Brian Blessed for being a good sport and doing this. And thanks for everyone who got involved in tracking the guy down.”

The eagle-eyed artist spotted somebody photographed on the front of the University of Exeter 2017 prospectus - and managed to find him.

He wrote: "Ben (the guy in the T-shirt) got in touch on Twitter. I'm super bamboozled as to how this blew up so much. Like, I really didn't expect anyone to care about this at all. But so glad it's made some of you smile."

People have loved watching the saga unfold, with one person tweeting: "This whole story warmed my heart with it's delightful silliness. Shout out to Exeter Jim and Brian Blessed for being so game."

Another said: "This is currently my favourite thing on the internet. No, scratch that, this will ALWAYS be my favourite thing on the internet."

The Bristol artist has been taking requests from followers since 2013, branching out into t-shirt designs, greetings cards and books.