Bob Mortimer says he’s had ‘very, very unhealthy year’ that’s left him with ‘terrible feeling’

Bob Mortimer has shared the extent of his medical issues after telling his fans he’s “not very healthy right now”.

The comedian, who had major heart surgery in 2015, first opened up about his ongoing medical issues in September 2022, revealing that he ended up in hospital after filming Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

Mortimer’s health issues meant he had to be replaced for an episode of the lifestyle series. The TV star chose his friend Lee Mack to join Whitehouse – a decision that divided viewers who complained about the lack of chemistry between the pair.

At the time Mortimer revealed his health issues, he also said he had recently discovered that his rheumatoid arthritis had returned after 29 years.

However, it was an illness that Mortimer got in 2023 that led to him having what he described as “a very, very, very unhealthy year for me”.

In fact, the comedian went so far as to tell his co-star Paul Whitehouse in a new interview: “You know what? It was worse than my heart period.”

Last year, Mortimer got shingles, a skin infection that causes a painful rash and is caused by the varicella-zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox.

He revealed in a new article featured in Metro on Friday (1 March) that he’s lost the usage of several muscles, which has left him with a “terrible feeling” that he might no longer be able to exercise by going for runs.

He said: “The muscles I’ve lost, I’ve lost… But other ones can compensate for it, you know what I mean?”

Mortimer said that, while he “can make the other muscles stronger”, he has “a terrible feeling I’m never going to be able to run again”, adding: “You know that I used to like to run, Paul.”

Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse on ‘Gone Fishing’ (BBC)
Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse on ‘Gone Fishing’ (BBC)

In 2015, the TV star had a triple heart bypass operation after he was diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

Gone Fishing was born when Whitehouse, who Mortimer had known for 30 years, invited his longtime friend fishing to get him out of the house after the surgery.