Bob Mortimer’s health woes from arthritis to open heart surgery | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Bob Mortimer, 64, found success in the early 1980s after teaming up with fellow songwriter Vic Reeves, 64. However, in recent years the star’s health has taken a hit, with him more priority.
From a serious childhood illness that carried over to a life-changing surgical procedure, the Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing star has faced many trials with his health.
Bob first came to prominence in 1986 after watching his future comedy partner Vic’s show, working with the Leeds-born star to create new material.
They eventually teamed up, creating different characters for Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, and the star has been a household name ever since.
Express.co.uk looks back at the difficult battles the inspirational comedian faced throughout his life.
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Bob’s childhood condition affects his performances to this day
Bob has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since childhood and has previously revealed that he controls it with steroids.
In an interview with the Radio TimesBob said he had to “be careful” because the condition was “useable, but not curable, and it flares up every now and then with a major attack.”
He also said that suffering from iritis, which affects the iris of the eye, meant that the performance left him in “full agency”.
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 led to open-heart surgery
After working with Reeves and Mortimer, Bob went on 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 25th anniversary tour in November.
Bob said he felt tired and had a sharp pain under his left ribs, so he decided to check with his GP.
He told PA that he was “out of breath when [he] went to the top of the stairs or if [he] he played football with [his] sons [he] he could not live very long.
“I put it down to my age,” he said.
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 told that some of his arteries were between 95 and 98 percent blocked.
He later revealed on Gone Fishing that his weight gain also contributed to a higher risk of cancer.
“We looked into it because we thought a little bit, but it was true that 22 cancers come into 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 he was very worried about the operation – so he pulled out all the stops before heading to hospital for his surgery.
On the day of his entry, the beloved comedian married his long-term girlfriend Lisa Matthews.
He shared with The Guardian: “I got married in a registry office, at 9 o’clock in the morning, and I was crying during the ceremony.
“I had to be in hospital at 10.30 for my heart, so we had time to go to a big cafe restaurant, to be the last one, although I wasn’t, if the truth be known.” (sic)
The star says his health has been deteriorating over the years but he will return to television screens next Saturday.
The comedian will appear as a guest on Saturday Kitchen where he will join host Matt Tebbutt, 49, chef Big Zuu, 27, and author Genevieve Taylor.
The program will be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday, May 25 at 10am.
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