Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing – BBC2

Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer on how fishing together has changed their lives as BBC2’s Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing returns this week

BBC2’s delightfully unscripted Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, in which old pals Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer (above) chew the fat while fishing in picturesque locations, returns tonight.

Paul is the more experienced angler, while Bob cooks healthy food – both have had heart problems – and sorts out the accommodation.

This week, they’re fly-fishing in Wales, where a young Paul caught his first trout while fishing with his dad.

There’s great chemistry between them, as they go from philosophical to downright silly, and great scenery, too. 

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer return for more fun and fish in BBC2’s Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Here, in a TV Times exclusive, Paul, 61, and Bob, 60, tell us what they’ve learnt from each over the years about finding joy in each day…

‘I remember filming sketches with Bob when The Fast Show first went out on TV, and I was worried it might be trashed,’ says Paul.

‘I remember Bob saying, “Paul, it’s only a TV show!”’

When [The Fast Show’s] Charlie Higson and I started doing bits on Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out, I watched their enthusiasm for what they did, and it was inspirational.

‘That sheer enjoyment really rubbed off on me.

‘As a performer, it made me worry less about, “Is this going to work?” and allowed me to just go and do it.’

‘It’s 45 years since I’d bothered to get out into the countryside,’ says Bob. 

‘It’s so easy to neglect it – I’ve gone though my adult life not realising that beauty was so accessible.

‘I’d got very lazy – I’d just sit at home.

‘I have to give Paul a big thank you for changing that.

‘Now, if I’m sitting at home or on the train, I’ll wish we were out fishing!’

TV Times rating: ****