Bob Mortimer reveals the worrying level of his health struggles

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Bob Mortimer, the 64-year-old comedic legend, has recently opened up about his health battles, stating that he is “not very healthy right now” after what he describes as a “terrible” year. The British comedian has faced various medical challenges, each more daunting than the last.

Mortimer, famed for his comedy double act with Vic Reeves, underwent triple heart bypass surgery in 2015, a life-changing event that saved him from a potential heart attack. Reflecting on this experience, he shared, “My doctor told me that I would have had a heart attack on stage. He looked at my tour schedule and said I would most likely have gone down in Southampton.”

Fast forward to 2022, and Mortimer faced another health setback, falling ill after the filming of an episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, a BBC2 show that has gained popularity for its unique concept. This marked the beginning of a series of unfortunate events that have taken a toll on Mortimer’s health.

Bob revealing the aftermath of his open-heart surgery in an interview.

In a recent interview, Bob Mortimer revealed that he had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a condition he previously battled in his mid-20s. The comedian, known for his resilience, shared, “The muscles I’ve lost, I’ve lost. But other ones can compensate for it, you know what I mean?”

Health struggles continue for Bob Mortimer

The year 2023 brought an additional blow to Mortimer’s health when he contracted shingles, a painful viral skin condition that cost him the use of several muscles. In an interview with Metro, he admitted, “It was worse than my heart, period. I have a terrible feeling I’m never going to be able to run again.”

Mortimer’s health struggles also impacted his professional commitments. Fans were disappointed when he had to miss an episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, with friend Lee Mack stepping in to fill his shoes. The chemistry between Mack and co-host Paul Whitehouse received mixed reviews, emphasising the unique dynamic Mortimer brings to the show.

Gone Fishing, conceived during Bob Mortimer’s recovery from heart surgery, has become a beloved series over six seasons. Despite Mortimer’s health challenges, the show has resonated with audiences for its warmth, charm, and the duo’s shared reflections on life after major heart problems.

Gone Fishing will return to our screens later this year.

The comedian’s resilience shines through as he expresses hope despite the setbacks. While acknowledging the loss of certain muscles, Mortimer remains optimistic about strengthening others. “You know that I used to like to run, Paul,” he shared, hinting at his determination to overcome the physical limitations imposed by shingles.

As we look ahead to 2024, Mortimer’s schedule continues, with a seventh season of Gone Fishing scheduled for release later this year.

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