Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing review – they've caught a real beauty


Jack Seale

Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse make a splash with this effortlessly funny, profoundly life-affirming meditation on friendship, leisure and mortality

Bob caught a bass! A five-pound bass, a smasher! If you can’t think why a comedian grinning at a fish might provide the deepest joy of the TV week, catch up quickly with Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC2), the bucolic celebrity jolly that’s also a beautiful meditation on life, friendship and death.

The show has the same format as The Trip: two comics, slightly exaggerating their real selves, trade banter in various spectacular settings. But whereas Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are merely facing middle age, old pals Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse have a starker concern. They fish to help each other get over treatment for nearly fatal heart problems: three stents for Whitehouse and a daunting triple bypass for Mortimer. Mortality hangs over this surreptitiously emotive series, wherever it travels.

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