Rufus Hound is not actually Rufus Hound.
The popular comedian actually adopted the stage name when while working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the start of his career.
Opting not to go to university because of the fees, Rufus started working at a PR agency after leaving school.
But he started performing comedy in the evenings and grew out his beard so he would look older.
Rufus then worked as an account executive for Claire’s Accessories, but he left the role in 2000 after being influenced to become a full-time comedian by a very famous face.
While Rufus was doing “technical stuff” at the Edinburgh Festival, Russell Brand told him he was “funny and should be doing stand-up”.
However, Rufus was forced to change his name because his own name had already been taken.
The comedian was actually born Robert James Blair Simpson.
Because RobSimpson.com had already been bought, he decided to give himself a new moniker.
He did consider calling himself Jiminy Biscuit, but thankfully he opted for Rufus Hound.
“I had shaggy hair, and an unkempt blond beard. I looked kinda doggy with a touch of sienna in my face fur. Rufus Hound it was,” he told The Independent in 2013.
Rufus began hosting Top of the Pops alongside Fern Cotton in 2005, then made appearances on Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice.
The comedian has presented a number of BBC Radio Four shows, had a role in Doctor Who and appeared in Sky One’s Trollied.
He even played a fictionalised version of himself, who constantly stopped an evil doctor from taking over the world, in CBBC kids series Hounded.
Despite his fame, Russell just wanted to be treated like anyone else when he goes to pick his two kids up from school.
Rufus tells the rest of the parents to call him by his birth name – Robert.
“It’s odd to be with the other parents at the school gate insisting they call you by your showbiz name because it makes you look like a bit of a c***.”
This did prompt some funny conversations with his son when he was younger, as Rufus was forced to explain why people called him by two different names.
“The thing I had to knock out of my son, I mean not literally, was he twigged early on that sometimes if people knew I was Rufus Hound they were nicer to us,” he explained.
“And you’ve got to instil in him, that ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!’ We’re just people and that’s not how we operate.”
Rufus announced he had split from his wife after 13-years of marriages in October last year, just before he was confirmed for Dancing on Ice.
He revealed the news in an emotional statement, explaining that he and Beth had made the difficult decision to part ways in April during the height of lockdown.
“In April, Beth and I made the sad decision to end our marriage,” he began.
“We will always have much love and respect for each other.
“Even though we are separated we will always remain best friends.
“And, as always, our family will remain our number one priority.”
Rufus has confessed that the only reason he signed up to Dancing on Ice is because he has been unemployed for six months.
The comedian has never fancied to sake or learned a new skill, but will get fitter and stronger if there is a pay cheque at the end.
“I wouldn’t have done this show for love nor money had it not been for the fact that the entire world stopped and everything I do to earn a living doesn’t exist,” he said.
“At the point that is true, if ITV ring me and say do you want to learn ice skating for 3 months and do a bunch of dances and be in people’s homes in the most miserable part of the year being part of a show that makes people happy and spreads joy, is something people watch as a family then my choices are I can do that or sit at home feeling massively depressed. Or wait for something doubtlessly less joyful to turn up.
“So, why I’m doing the show is for money because I haven’t been able to earn any money and I have a mortgage and a family. That doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to it and it doesn’t mean I don’t want it to go well.”
After signing on the dotted line to take part in this year’s hit show, Rufus has admitted that his schedule was free before producers called him.
He added: “I might be the one person in the mix who is like ‘no I am unemployed, I don’t want to do this, I am doing it because I have to try and find a way of earning money’.
“And then in week two when it starts going well or week four when I land a perfect score or whatever then the story may change – look at this dope who turned up saying this isn’t what I wanted to do and NOW look at him go with his jété and his spin!”
Rufus completes the 2021 line-up as he joins Myleene Klass, Joe-Warren Plant, Denise Van Outen, Faye Brookes, Jason Donovan, Sonny Jay, Rebekah Vardy, Graham Bell, Colin Jackson CBE, Lady Leshurr and Billie Shepherd.
Rufus, who is partnered up with professional skater Robin Johnstone, is ready for the sequins due to his musical theatre history.
He believes he will have fun as the weeks go on and he gets invested in the competition- with the added benefit of getting on more shows afterwards.
“I’ll be making the effort, trying hard and being the best I can be at this. In terms of the bigger picture, it’s absolutely reasonable to say I don’t really like ice skating, I don’t really have any great desire to be a dancer,” said Rufus.
“I think that anybody that reads a quote from me saying ‘it’s a lifelong passion and something I’ve always wanted to do’ would read that and from the get-go just think I was being massively disingenuous.
“I mean I’m hoping it will mean the phone starts ringing again, I can eek out another six months to a year of largely ITV based guest appearances on a raft of entertainment shows and hopefully, at some point over the next year, one of those sticks long enough that I can reasonably expect to pay my mortgage!”