Noel Fielding has quickly become a fan favorite as one of the hosts of The Great British Baking Show. The comedian, best known for his black comedy and bizarre sense of humor, has co-hosted the beloved baking competition with Sandi Toksvig ever since Channel 4 picked it up. While Fielding has reached a new level of stardom on the show, fans may be surprised to learn how he originally became famous.
Inside Noel Fielding’s rise to stardom
Over the course of his career, Fielding has appeared as a guest star on numerous shows, including The IT Crowd, AD/BC: A Rock Opera, Nathan Barley, and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. But he really got his start in a show called The Mighty Boosh, which aired on BBC Three between 2004 and 2007.
Fielding created the series with his longtime comedy friend, Julian Barratt. The project started as a radio show in 2001 titled The Boosh on BBC Radio London. After BBC Three picked it up and turned it into a series, it quickly developed a cult following.
The Might Boosh proved to be a springboard for Fielding’s career, though he didn’t gain widespread notoriety until landing his spot on The Great British Baking Show.
Fielding opens up about his first season of ‘The Great British Baking Show’
Fielding was already a huge fan of the hit baking competition when Channel 4 hired him as a co-host. His love for the show and his desire to work alongside Toksvig is what ultimately convinced him to accept the offer.
But given Fielding’s history on The Mighty Boosh, many people thought Channel 4 was taking a huge risk casting him for a series like The Great British Baking Show. According to the NY Times, Fielding and Toksvig later admitted that they felt enormous pressure on the first day of filming, mostly because they didn’t want to ruin the show.
Fortunately, fans quickly accepted the pair and many viewers now look forward to their goofy opening scenes and banter with the bakers. Although Fielding is known for his off-the-wall comedy, he understands that he needs to tone things down for the show.
“You can’t push your vision onto something that already has a tone, you have to respect the tone,” he shared.
Fielding takes heat for blackface
Although things have been going well for Fielding, he recently took some heat over one of his characters in The Mighty Boosh. In light of the rise in the Black Lives Matter movement, Netflix announced that they pulled The Mighty Boosh because some scenes featured blackface.
In the show, Fielding plays a character named The Spirit of Jazz, who is supposed to be the ghost of a jazz player named Howlin’ Jimmy Jefferson.
Fielding has not responded to Netflix’s decision to pull his series from its service. This is not the only show Netflix pulled this week. The streaming service also ditched The League of Gentlemen for the same reason.
Noel Fielding sells a portrait of Ed Sheeran
While fans wait to hear what Fielding says about his former show, the comedian has been finding success as an artist. Fielding has painted numerous portraits of celebrities and has sold most of his work for around $1,000 each.
This includes paintings of Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, and The Sex Pistols. The portrait of Sheeran that recently sold depicted the singer as a yellow and orange ball with black spots for eyes.
According to NME, Fielding recently opened up about his artwork and attempted to explain the reasoning behind some of his paintings.
“The characters I paint are often fantastical, usually half human half animal, strange magical beasts who roam my subconscious. It’s the same in my comedy – I’d rather play Old Gregg, a transexual Merman, than someone who exists in real life,” Fielding shared.
Noel Fielding is currently getting ready for the new season of The Great British Baking Show, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.