Bob Mortimers health woes from arthritis to open heart surgery05/27/2023
Bob Mortimer, 64, struck comedic success in the early 1980s after pairing up with fellow comedian Vic Reeves, 64. However, in more recent years the star’s health has been in the spotlight, as it becomes more of a priority.
From a serious childhood illness that persisted into adulthood to a life-changing surgical procedure, the Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing star has undergone many trials when it comes to his health.
Bob first rose to fame in 1986 after viewing his future comedy partner Vic’s show, working with the Leeds-born star to create new material.
They eventually joined forces, creating various characters for Vic Reeves Big Night Out, and the star has been a household name ever since.
Express.co.uk looks back on the tough battles the inspirational comedian has experienced throughout his life.
Bob’s childhood condition that affects his performances to this day
Bob has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since childhood and has previoulsy revealed that he controls it with steroids.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Bob shared that he had “to be careful” because the condition was “treatable, but not curable, and it flares up with a major attack every now and then.”
He also shared that suffering from iritis, which affects the eye’s iris, had meant performing left him in “absolute agony”.
The NHS describes symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
The condition often affects the hands, feet and wrists.
Bob’s life-saving decision that led to open heart surgery
After his stint with Reeves and Mortimer, Bob continued to enjoy a successful career, performing solo and making guest appearances on shows including Would I Lie to You? and Taskmaster.
However, in 2015, Bob received life-changing news ahead of his scheduled Reeves and Mortimer 25 years tour in November.
Bob stated that he had felt tired and experienced sharp pain below his left ribcage, so he decided to check with his GP.
He shared with PA that he was “breathless when [he] went to the top of the stairs or if [he] played football with [his] sons [he] couldn’t last very long.
“I just put it down to my age,” he added.
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After discovering something unusual, he was quickly referred to a cardiologist before undergoing surgery three days later.
In October 2015, Bob underwent triple bypass surgery, after being informed that several of his arteries were between 95 to 98 per cent blocked.
He later revealed on Gone Fishing that his weight gain had also contributed to a higher risk of cancer.
“We looked into it because we wondered a little bit, but it was true 22 cancers come onto the table if, as a fella, your waist is over 102cm,” he told his co-star Paul Whitehouse.
Bob’s last-minute wedding day
The Middlesbrough celeb revealed that the operation he underwent worried him immensely – so he made one stop before going to the hospital for his surgery.
On the day of his admission, the beloved comedian married his long-term girlfriend Lisa Matthews.
He shared with The Guardian: “I got married at a registry office, at 9 o’clock in the morning, and was crying during the ceremony.
“I had to be at hospital at 10.30 for my heart op, so we had time to go for a great big cafe fry-up, meant to be my last, although it hasn’t been, if truth be known.” (sic)
The star has been vocal about his declining health over the years but will return to TV screens this Saturday.
The comedian will appear as a guest on Saturday Kitchen where he will join host Matt Tebbutt, 49, chefs Big Zuu, 27, and author Genevieve Taylor.
The programme will air on BBC One on Saturday, May 25 at 10am.
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