Oliver Reed also made a memorable appearance on a long-running, little-watched, forgotten late-night ITV show called 'The Big E' (an odd experiment in European unity, a precursor to 'Eurotrash' but without the humour or naughty bits (and really, what's the point of that?)).

Anyway, there was a regular feature called 'In the Barber's Chair', in which a French hairdresser interviewed z-list 'celebrities' whilst giving them a haircut. Reed made an appearance, after clearly having been kept in hospitality for too long.

After grumbling his way through five minutes of boredom, he noticed that the hairdresser was French and, in a graceful display of hilarious flailing, he grabbed him around the neck and attacked him. Cut to commercial.

In interviews Reed repeatedly asserted that he only had two regrets - that he hadn't drunk every pub dry and slept with every woman on Earth. Reed was part of a generation of British actors who, for whatever reason, decided to spend a lot of time drinking - Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris spring to mind. Like Keith Moon and Peter Cook he was something of a tragic case; a gifted, initially good-looking actor who never made the Sean Connery-esque leap into iconicism.

He once said that his ideal woman would be 'a mute nymphomaniac whose father owns a pub', despite which he did not marry a mute nymphomaniac.