Bob Mortimer: Wikis


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Bob Mortimer
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.jpg
Bob Mortimer (left) with Vic Reeves in 1991 during the Big Night Out tour.
Born 23 May 1959 (1959-05-23) (age 50)
Acklam, Middlesbrough, England
Medium Television
Nationality British
Years active 1986  – Present
Genres Surreal humour
Notable works and roles Vic Reeves Big Night Out
The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer
Shooting Stars

Robert "Bob" Renwick Mortimer (born 23 May 1959 in Middlesbrough, England) is a British comedian and actor, who is best known for his double act with Vic Reeves (see Vic and Bob). He owns the independent production company Pett Productions with Vic Reeves and Lisa Clark.


Early life

Mortimer's biscuit salesman father died when he was very young in a car crash, and as a result, he and his three brothers were brought up by their mother, Eunice. He attended Acklam High School on the site of Acklam Hall in Acklam, Middlesbrough. He trialled for local professional football club Middlesbrough, but was not able to take the sport up due to arthritis. He left school with three A-levels and went on to study law at the Universities of Sussex and Leicester. There, Mortimer became involved in political causes and the punk movement, starting a band called Dog Dirt. After leaving university with an LLM in Welfare Law, he moved to London and became a solicitor for Southwark Council. He then moved to a private practice.

Partnership with Vic Reeves

In 1986, in an attempt to drown his sorrows after finding his girlfriend in bed with a Hells Angel, Mortimer met up with an old friend who persuaded him to go to the Goldsmith's Tavern in New Cross, London to see a new show by someone called Vic Reeves. Mortimer was impressed by the performance, particularly the character Tappy Lappy, which was Reeves attempting to tap dance whilst wearing a Bryan Ferry mask and planks on his feet. Mortimer approached Reeves after the show, and the two began writing material for the next week's show together. They also became good friends, even forming a band called The Potter's Wheel. Mortimer began to perform on the show, which was christened Vic Reeves Big Night Out, creating such characters as the Singing Lawyer, Graham Lister, Judge Nutmeg, and the Man With the Stick.

The show became very successful in south London and eventually outgrew Goldsmith's Tavern, moving in 1988 to the Albany Empire in Deptford. Mortimer soon became an integral part of the performance, providing him with a weekly break from the legal work which had begun to disillusion him.

Mortimer and Reeves made their television debut on the short-lived 1989 comedy/chat show One Hour with Jonathan Ross, in the game show segment known as knock down ginger.

Later that year they made their first television pilot together, Vic Reeves Big Night Out, in late 1989. The television show remained true to the nightclub act's variety show format. Mortimer took a 10-week break from his legal job to film the series and never returned.

The two later created a one-off pilot for a sitcom called The Weekenders (1992). This was followed by the sketch show The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer (1993) and Shooting Stars, a comedy panel show. The pilot episode of Shooting Stars aired in December 1993. After being commissioned, it ran for 5 series between 1995 and 2002, with a special anniversary edition broadcast in December 2008. In April 2009, the BBC confirmed a 6th series was in production and is due for broadcast in the Autumn.

In 1999, their second sketch show was broadcast, Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer. A year later, Mortimer played the part of Jeff Randall Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), opposite Reeves and Emilia Fox as Marty and Jeannie Hopkirk.

In 2003, Mortimer and Reeves were listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, they were voted the 9th greatest comedy act of all time by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

In November 2007, Mortimer appeared as Reeves' hairdresser, Carl, in the weekly radio-based sketch show on BBC Radio 2, entitled Vic Reeves' House Arrest. The first episode was broadcast on 17 November 2007 and the series ran for six episodes.[1]

On 27 February 2008, Reeves announced that he and Mortimer were working together on a new sitcom about super heroes who get their powers through a malfunctioning telegraph pole.[2]

Solo career & appearances

  • In 1997, in collaboration with Chris Rea, Mortimer recorded Rea's hit "Let's Dance" with his favourite football team, Middlesbrough F.C.. The single reached #44 in the UK charts.
  • He produced and presented the second match, The Fight, a year later, which saw Grant Bovey face Ricky Gervais.
  • Mortimer is now penning his first novel, provisionally titled "Have Her Over My Hedge (You've Never Trimmed It)", with Charlie Higson.

Personal life

Mortimer is married to Lisa Matthews and has two children, Harry (b.March 1997) and Tom (b.August 1998). He lives in Kent.

Mortimer suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which gives him great pain when he is stressed, especially before making a TV series or embarking on a tour. On those occasions, he controls the illness with steroids.[3]


  1. ^ BBC - Radio 2 Comedy - Vic Reeves' House Arrest
  2. ^ "Journal Live". Reeves enjoys a Big Day Out with apprentices. Retrieved 2008-02-28.  
  3. ^ "Bob Mortimer – my battle with arthritis". Magazine column. original: Radio Times "My Kind of Day" column, reporoduction: Press Office. Retrieved 2007-10-24.  

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