Bob Mortimer shares agony over painful autoimmune disease flare up

Bob Mortimer shares agony over painful autoimmune disease flare up


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Bob Mortimer, who made his name as a comic alongside Vic Reeves, was annoyed when he found himself battling a bout of rheumatoid arthritis for the first time in nearly three decades. The Gone Fishing star had first been diagnosed as a 24-year-old, only to be struck down again at age 63 late last year.

Bob, who is on steroids, recently groaned: “I have been free of it since I have been 34 and it came back 10 days ago!”

He recalled: “In my mid-20s I got struck down with rheumatoid arthritis [for the first time]. I just woke up and it was like, ‘BANG!'”

The star had been sharing his woes on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast when he broke the sad news.

He admitted his regret that he had not accomplished more when he was younger, after the painful resurgence of arthritic joints curbed his activity.

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“It takes until you are 60 to realise all the things you could have done!” he exclaimed in frustration.

“At my age, we all feel 47, but then your body packs in!”

The condition typically causes painful swelling in the hands, wrists, feet and sometimes other joints.

The NHS website explains: “A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints.”

It adds: “Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system (which usually fights infection) attacks the cells that line your joints by mistake, making the joints swollen, stiff and painful.

“Over time, this can damage the joints, cartilage and nearby bone.”

Risk factors for developing or worsening the condition include smoking, or a genetic predisposition in your family history.

It can also be associated with lung or nerve damage, and Bob recently spent some time in hospital.


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He groaned during the podcast: “I am not very well at the moment,” sparking major concern among fans.

Fortunately, Bob’s condition hasn’t held him back from conquering some of his ambitions in the world of TV.

He braved chilly weather in the Arctic Circle to visit Norway’s aesthetically stunning Lofoten Islands for another TV special of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing recently.

The official website previews some of the adventures that he and Paul Whitehouse have been enjoying, for anyone new to the shows.

It jokingly describes itself as “the fishing show that is not really about fishing”.

“In each episode comedians, Bob Mortimer (61, portly, unskilled) and Paul Whitehouse (62, slender, highly skilled) spend a couple of days by the river in pursuit of that week’s target fish,” the website continues.

“Bob’s main role is to annoy Paul as much as possible and generally get in the way, fall over, or both!”

The show is available on BBC iPlayer, while fans of Bob will be delighted to discover that he will return to BBC One’s Would I Lie To You? tonight at 8pm.

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