Bob Mortimer

Last updated on the 4 May 2024 by Evandrus

Bob Mortimer Headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 23 May 1959, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. 

Bob Mortimer, born Robert Renwick Mortimer, wasn’t always destined for comedic chaos. Growing up in Middlesbrough with three brothers, his early life was a mix of laughter and loss. A shy boy, he found solace in family and a passion for football, attending trials for his hometown club. However, a dash of misfortune, a recurring theme in Mortimer’s life, struck in the form of early-onset arthritis, forcing him to abandon his football dreams.

Education became Mortimer’s focus. He attended King’s Manor School, where future sports presenter Ali Brownlee was a classmate. Mortimer then embarked on a seemingly conventional path, studying law at the University of Sussex and later qualifying as a solicitor. Yet, fate, or perhaps a thirst for the unconventional, intervened. A chance meeting with Vic Reeves, a fellow comedian with a penchant for the absurd, in a 1980s pub, sparked an unlikely partnership.

Together, Vic and Bob, a double act unlike any other, exploded onto the British comedy scene. Their surreal sketches, nonsensical wordplay and bizarre characters in shows like “Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out” and “Shooting Stars” defied definition. Mortimer, with his deadpan delivery and knack for physical humour, perfectly complemented Vic Reeves’ energetic chaos. Their work, often described as “anti-humour,” garnered a devoted following, leaving audiences both bewildered and in stitches.

Panel shows became a natural fit, with Mortimer’s observational humour and talent for storytelling shining through on programs like “Would I Lie to You?” His vulnerability and self-deprecating charm resonated with viewers.

Life, however, wasn’t always sunshine and laughter. In 2015, a health scare forced him to undergo heart surgery, a life-altering event that became the impetus for his critically acclaimed memoir, “And Away…” The book offered a heartfelt and humorous reflection on his life, from childhood mishaps (including accidentally burning down the family home with a rogue firework) to his rise to comedic fame.

More recently, Mortimer embarked on a new adventure with fellow comedian Paul Whitehouse in the heartwarming series “Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.” The show, with its gentle exploration of friendship, fishing and the beauty of the British countryside, offered a surprising counterpoint to his earlier zany work.

Bob Mortimer’s life story is a testament to the unexpected turns life can take. From a law career to surreal comedy sketches, heartwarming fishing trips to bestselling memoirs, Mortimer has carved his own unique path, proving that laughter, vulnerability and a touch of the absurd can be the perfect recipe for a compelling life and career.


Suggested viewing


Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out (2018)

Vic and Bob's Big Night Out poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

Celebrating a comedy career milestone, Vic and Bob revisit their signature style. Expect surreal sketches, slapstick gags and nonsensical characters in a chaotic whirlwind of silliness, proving age hasn’t dulled their ability to make audiences roar with laughter.

Top cast: Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Vaun Earl Norman, Matt Berry, Nancy Sorrell.


Mortimer & Whitehouse:
Gone Fishing (2018)

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.9

Bob and Paul take a lighthearted fishing trip across Britain’s scenic landscapes. While casting lines, they share funny stories, reflect on life after health scares and find moments of peace amidst the beauty of nature, proving some of the best catches aren’t always fish.

Top cast: Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse.


Train Guy (2019)

Train Guy poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 9.2

Fragmented commutes, stitched together by video calls. Work updates, playful jabs and the echoes of a changing world, all captured in fleeting glimpses between train stops.

Top cast: Bob Mortimer, Matt Berry.


House of Fools (2014)

House of Fools poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.4

A sitcom that follows Vic and Bob as frustrated homeowners whose domestic tranquility is constantly shattered by a stream of uninvited guests and bizarre situations. The chaos creates hilarious moments as they struggles to maintain order in an increasingly absurd world.

Top cast: Vic Reeves, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Matt Berry, Morgana Robinson, Dan Renton Skinner, Daniel Simonsen, Ellie White, Reece Shearsmith, Rufus Jones, Tony Way, Arabella Weir, Nikki Amuka-Bird.


The Smell of Reeves
and Mortimer (1993)

The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

The comedy duo unleash their signature absurdity in a sketch show. Nonsensical characters, surreal situations and a healthy dose of silliness come together to create a uniquely anarchic viewing experience.

Top cast: Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Charlie Chuck, Patrick Allen, Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Mark Williams, Matt Lucas, John Thomson, Trevor Peacock, Morwenna Banks, Caroline Aherne.


Vic Reeves Big Night Out (1990)

Vic Reeves Big Night Out poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.5

This cult comedy show throws a chaotic party of surreal sketches and eccentric characters. A flamboyant Vic guides viewers through musical oddities, nonsensical games and offbeat interviews, all punctuated by a deadpan Bob’s dry wit.

Top cast: Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Fred Aylward, Charlie Higson, Emma Cafferty, Dudley Freeman, Simon Day, Paul Whitehouse.


Catterick (2004)

Catterick poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.9

Two brothers on a bizarre quest through a quirky English village encounter a cast of odd characters, including a suspicious hotel owner and a police detective with a penchant for interpretive dance. Expect surreal situations, dark humour and a healthy dose of absurdity.

Top cast: Bob Mortimer, Vic Reeves, Morwenna Banks, Mark Benton, Tim Healy, Matt Lucas, Reece Shearsmith, Charlie Higson, Mark Gatiss, Dora Bryan.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Bob Mortimer Gallery


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