Lee Mack is set to take the helm of the beloved BBC Two series, “Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing,”. The decision comes as Bob Mortimer faces an unexpected health setback. Mack has recently faced calls to be cancelled after people took offence to a joke.
The change of host has come about due to Mortimer finding himself hospitalised due to a bout of shingles during filming. While fans initially feared for the future of the show, Mack stepped in seamlessly to ensure the fishing adventures continued. The upcoming episode, set against the scenic backdrop of Burgh Island in Devon, features Mack and Paul Whitehouse as they cast their lines for wrasse.
Mack seen as the perfect stand-in
“It’s a big surprise and not the kind we’re used to on the show. Bob’s health is a priority, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” Whitehouse shared at the beginning of the penultimate episode of the current series.
Reassuringly, Mortimer makes a virtual appearance via FaceTime. Speaking exclusively to British Comedy Guide, a source revealed, “While it was nothing serious, producers thought it might be fun to bring in one of the lads’ friends to give Paul company. In the scenes, Bob FaceTimes Paul and tells him he has a special guest before Lee wanders along.”
Shingles, a painful condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus, temporarily kept Mortimer away from fishing. The Shingles Support Society highlights the telltale signs, including red patches, itching, and fluid-filled blisters. The discomfort of filming in less-than-ideal conditions made the decision to bring in Mack a sensible one.
Bob Mortimer, known for his resilience after a triple heart bypass surgery in 2015, is no stranger to health challenges. His absence from the show comes as a surprise but is unrelated to his heart condition. Last year, Mortimer shared on Richard Herring’s podcast about his hospitalisation during filming, emphasizing that it was unrelated to his cardiac health.
Mortimer illness just a setback
Fans of the show need not worry about a hiatus. Mortimer and Whitehouse are gearing up for a fourth Christmas special, with the location yet to be revealed. Despite the unexpected twists, “Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing” continues to reel in audiences with its unique blend of humour, friendship, and scenic fishing spots.
Catch Lee Mack in action this Sunday as he joins Paul Whitehouse for a fish-filled adventure on Burgh Island. The duo promises an episode filled with laughter and, of course, the joy of fishing. As the sixth series progresses, fans can anticipate both a Christmas special and an upcoming new series.
The next episode airs on Sunday, October 1 at 9 pm on BBC Two.