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No more drugs. I don’t need drugs. I mean, what great music was ever made on drugs? Bowie, obviously. The Floyd, The Prodge, Aphex, the list is endless really.

—Jez

Jeremy "Jez" Usbourne is Mark Corrigan's best friend and flatmate living in Croydon, London. He serves as one of the two main protagonists alongside Mark Corrigan in the English sitcom Peep Show. He is portrayed by Robert Webb.

Characterisation

A wannabe musician and later a fake life coach, Jez is a "work-shy freeloader" who is unemployed for most of the series. He is naive, immature, and often selfish — but considers himself very talented and attractive. He tends to be more sociable than Mark and generally cares more about their friendship. However he can sometimes also be quite malicious and spiteful. He has displayed no qualms about engaging in actions such as ganging up on Mark with a bully, poisoning Mark to save a party, kissing Sophie or relapsing Super Hans into drug addiction. Jeremy is hedonistic and enjoys recreational drugs as well as casual sex.

Character History

Jeremy's upbringing was allegedly a rocky one. His father left home when Jeremy was 10, (Mark's Women) and he still harbors hostility towards his mother for bringing so many boyfriends around the house. (Jeremy's Mummy). His mum still calls him "Pumpkin," and is outwardly very nice to him.

Jeremy is a charade of a musician, claiming it often but never practicing or gigging. He is largely financially supported by his best friend and flatmate, Mark Corrigan, through various loans and free rent, Jez also appears to have been given money on many occasions by his mother (his nest egg), including topping up his mobile phone regularly as well as small bouts of employment in various areas including working as a music studio reception runner at Studio 1-2-3 (Series 1), a call centre courtesy of Toni (Series 2), as a legal secretary thanks to Mark's sister Sarah (Series 3), in a gym and as a personal handy man (Series 4) as well as working for one day at JLB and with Super Hans' removal service business (a.k.a. "men with ven") (Series 5). In series 8, he becomes a life coach after Mark gifts him a custom print of a fake certification from a life-coaching board. He tells his client Joe in series 9 that he has life coached many famous people, including members of the royal family. In fact, the most famous person he has coached is his handyman, Andy.

Jeremy QLC cert

Jeremy's life coaching certificate, printed up by Mark through British London

He occasionally tries to get a proper job, something usually influenced by others, although he rarely passes the interview - let alone keeping the job. His life is very obviously going nowhere, as Mark often points out, although this rarely seems to upset him. He also receives some financial support from his mother, Jackie. Despite Jeremy being very disrespectful and rude to her, Mark gets on fairly well with her.

As a musician, Jeremy has been associated with many acts, almost always with his friend Super Hans, and almost always as the sole-excommunicated member. He is a multi-instrumentalist and known for having floated around a ridiculous amount of band names with Super Hans. It is debatable whether or not the two of them have had more band names than actual rehearsal sittings. Among the band names Jeremy championed were Danny Dyer's Chocolate Homunculus, Various Artists, 13 Bastards, and Mama's Kumquat.

Jeremy is generally quite wanton with sex and sees bedroom expression as an extension of his creative process. However, he does become emotionally involved in some of his relationships — especially with Big Suze, Nancy, and Elena. He is often very big with his emotions and generally with a more sentimental attitude towards love than Mark, as evidenced by creating a bust of Elena's head for her birthday, and keeping Big Suze's dildo. (Funeral)

Although most of Jeremy's relationships are opposite-sex. He has had several instances of same-sex desires and experiences. While chatting with Sophie, Jeremy reveals that he has had sex with more men than she has (four). Having life-coached Megan in the series 9 episode Gregory's Beard, Jeremy has sex with Megan's boyfriend, Joe, which leads him to reevaluate his sexuality and question if he in fact wants relationships with men. He later begins to talk to Mark about his sexuality before finding out that Mark (as well as Dobby, Gregory, and Super Hans) already knew due to surveillance cameras in Mark and Jez's flat. In series 9's Threeism, he admits that he's neither gay nor straight, although refuses to define his sexuality outside of those broad terms. Arguably, his relationship with Joe is the healthiest he has throughout the show, as both partners are actually committed and do not display ulterior motives (a common feature of Jeremy's relationships with women).

Jeremy has twice been diagnosed with chlamydia (once, sometime before series 3 and again in series 5), allegedly via his partner Paula. He attempts initially to withhold this information from his then-flame, Big Suze.

Jeremy comes from Kent, and like Mark her attended University of Dartmouth, and qualified as a nurse but does not appear to have spent long in the post. He seems to have very little actual medical knowledge. When he is informed that he might have chlamydia in series 5 he needs to be informed about the side-effects of it. Jeremy is not a very cultured person; the only books he has ever read are "Mr Nice" and "The Book of Bunny Suicides". Technically, the latter is a compilation of cartoons, so "Mr Nice" is the only conventional book he has ever read. He claims to have read it four times. In the Pilot Episode of Series 9, Jez claims that he has been high each time he reads "Mr Nice" causing him to forget it and therefore enjoy the novelty of reading it again.

Surname Controversy

Though Webb himself confirms that the character's surname is spelled "Usbourne" and this spelling appears written on a CD in the pilot episode, the spelling has been variously rendered as "Osborne", "Osbourne", "Usborne" and "Usbourne", with Channel 4's official website for the series using both of the latter two spellings.

The various misspellings of his name is lampshaded in series 8 when Mark gives him a fake life-coach degree and Jez remarks that Usbourne is spelled correct "with a U and everything".

Trivia

  • In the Series 4 commentary to episode 4, producer Phil Clarke and script editor Ian Morris discuss Jeremy's bisexuality and sexual identity in the series.
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