Bob Mortimer

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Bob Mortimer
Bob mortimer Middlesbrough.jpg
Bob Mortimer in 2010.
Birth nameRobert Renwick Mortimer
Born (1959-05-23) 23 May 1959 (age 60)
Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
MediumStand up, television
NationalityBritish
Years active1986 – present
GenresSurreal humour, Physical comedy
SpouseLisa Matthews (m. 2015)
ChildrenHarry (b. March 1997)
Tom (b. August 1998)
Notable works and rolesVic Reeves Big Night Out
The Weekenders
Catterick
The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer
Bang, Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer
Shooting Stars
Families at War
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)
29 Minutes of Fame
Monkey Trousers
House of Fools
‘’VIC and Bobs Big Night Out’'Athletico Mince
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Robert Renwick Mortimer (born 23 May 1959) is an English comedian, podcast presenter, and actor. He is known for his work with Vic Reeves as part of their Vic and Bob comedy double act.

Early life[edit]

Mortimer was raised with three brothers in the Linthorpe area of Middlesbrough.[1] His father, a biscuit salesman, died in a car crash when Mortimer was seven years old.[2]

Mortimer attended Acklam High School on the site of Acklam Hall in Acklam, Middlesbrough. His schoolmates included Ali Brownlee, who would go on to become a sports presenter on BBC Tees.[3]

He trialled for local professional football club Middlesbrough. Although he was not able to join the club as a professional due to arthritis, he still supports them. He left school with three A-levels and went on to study law at the universities of Sussex and Leicester. There, Mortimer became involved in political causes and the punk movement, starting a band called Dog Dirt. After leaving university with an LLM in Welfare Law, Mortimer moved to London and became a solicitor for Southwark Council. He then moved to a private practice in Peckham, where his work with Public Health Act cases regarding cockroach infestation of council properties led to a local paper dubbing Mortimer "The Cockroach King".[4]

Career[edit]

Partnership with Vic Reeves[edit]

In 1986, Mortimer went to the Goldsmith's Tavern in New Cross, London, to see a new show by a comedian called Vic Reeves. Mortimer was impressed by the performance, particularly the character Tappy Lappy, which was Reeves attempting to tap dance while wearing a Bryan Ferry mask and planks on his feet. Mortimer approached Reeves after the show, and the two began writing material for the next week's show together. They also became good friends, even forming a band called the Potter's Wheel. Mortimer began to perform on the show, which was christened Vic Reeves Big Night Out, creating such characters as the Singing Lawyer, Graham Lister, Judge Nutmeg and the Man With the Stick.

The show became successful in South London and eventually outgrew Goldsmith's Tavern, moving in 1988 to the Albany Empire in Deptford. Mortimer soon became an integral part of the performance, providing him with a weekly break from the legal work, which had begun to disillusion him. He once quipped that the final straw was a run in with a mugger who, recognising Mortimer as having represented him legally, promptly stood down and apologised for not recognising him.[citation needed]

Reeves and Mortimer made their television debut on the short-lived 1989 comedy chat show One Hour with Jonathan Ross, in the game show segment known as knock down ginger.

Later that year, the duo made their first television pilot together, Vic Reeves Big Night Out, in late 1989. The television show remained true to the nightclub act's variety show format. Mortimer took a 10-week break from his legal job to film the series and never returned.

The two later created a one-off pilot for a sitcom called The Weekenders in 1992, followed by the sketch show The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer in 1993 and Shooting Stars, a comedy panel show that first aired in December 1993. After being commissioned, Shooting Stars ran for five series between 1995 and 2002, with a special anniversary edition broadcast in December 2008. A sixth series was broadcast in late 2009, followed by a seventh series in mid-2010, and eighth in 2011.

In 1999, Reeves and Mortimer appeared in a second sketch show called Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer. A year later, Mortimer played the part of Jeff Randall in Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), opposite Reeves as Marty and Emilia Fox as Jeannie Hurst.

In 2003, Mortimer and Reeves were listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.[5] In a 2005 poll to find the Comedians' Comedian, the duo were voted the 9th greatest comedy act of all time by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.[6]

On 17 November 2007, Mortimer appeared as Reeves' hairdresser, Carl, in the weekly radio sketch show on BBC Radio 2 entitled Vic Reeves' House Arrest.[7]

On 27 February 2008, Reeves announced that he and Mortimer were working together on a new sitcom about super heroes who get their powers through a malfunctioning telegraph pole.[8]

In November 2013, Reeves and Mortimer filmed episodes of a new BBC sitcom, House of Fools, also featuring Matt Berry (as Beef), Morgana Robinson (as Julie), and Dan Skinner (as Bosh).

In October 2015 the pair cancelled the first leg of their live tour, 25 Year of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Moments, after Mortimer underwent an emergency triple heart bypass.[9]

On 29 December 2017, Mortimer and Reeves starred in a relaunch and new singular episode of their comedy Big Night Out for the BBC. The show has been remade and subsequently renamed to Vic and Bob's Big Night Out. The episode remained true to the classic Big Night Out formula and was composed of various comedy songs, skits, characters and sketches. This was the first time the Big Night Out series had featured Mortimer's name in the title. A full series of Vic and Bob's Big Night Out began on BBC Four in November 2018.

Solo career and appearances[edit]

Personal life[edit]

At around the age of 7, Mortimer accidentally burnt down his family's home with a stray firework.[13] He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which gives him great pain when he is stressed, especially before making a television series or embarking on a tour. On those occasions, he controls the illness with steroids.[14] In October 2015, it was revealed that he was recovering from a triple bypass surgery which led to the cancellation of the first leg of the Reeves and Mortimer 25 years tour.[15]

Mortimer married his partner of 22 years, Lisa Matthews, in October 2015. The couple have two children, Harry and Tom.[16]

He is a lifelong fan of Middlesbrough Football Club and the rock group Free.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herring, Richard. "Episode 64 - Bob Mortimer". Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  2. ^ Ewing, Sarah (4 February 2018). "Bob Mortimer: 'I wrecked the family fortunes by burning down mum's uninsured house'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Voice of the Boro Ali Brownlee of BBC Tees dies". BBC News. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Bob Mortimer". Desert Island Discs. BBC. 3 February 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  5. ^ "The A-Z of laughter (part two)". The Observer. 7 December 2003.
  6. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (2 January 2005). "Cook tops poll of comedy greats". The Observer.
  7. ^ Staff writer. "Vic Reeves' House Arrest". bbc.co.uk. BBC Radio 2 Comedy.
  8. ^ Staff writer. "Reeves enjoys a Big Day Out with apprentices". The Journal. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  9. ^ "Vic and Bob cancel live shows". Giggle Beats. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  10. ^ "BBC pulls controversial Popetown". News story. 23 September 2004. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing". BBC.
  12. ^ "Bob Mortimer on Desert Island Discs". BBC.
  13. ^ "The 10 most surprising truths we've learnt from the guests on Would I Lie to You?". RadioTimes.com. Immediate Media Company Ltd. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Bob Mortimer – my battle with arthritis". Magazine column. original: Radio Times "My Kind of Day" column, reproduction: bbc.co.uk Press Office. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
  15. ^ Press Association (27 October 2015). "Bob Mortimer cancels tour after triple heart bypass operation". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  16. ^ Jamieson, Sophie (13 January 2016). "Bob Mortimer wed long-term girlfriend just half an hour before life-saving heart bypass". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 7 July 2018.