Then, Away… Bob Mortimer’s autobiography, the comic hero who was reluctant to admit it

Bob’s vividly surreal and funny stories from his youth give the impression that he was a fun-loving chap who enjoyed mischief and mayhem along with his loyal friends. But, as Bob explains in his compelling and sometimes poignant memoir Vic Reeves saved him when he was 25, and he is now living a lonely life.

Bob’s father was killed in a car crash when he was seven years old. From that point on his attention was focused on his mother.

He was plagued by crippling shyness throughout his school years and saw his hopes dashed when Middlesbrough FC rejected him as a teenager.

He was lonely during his university years and suffered from depression for five year.

Bob’s story of hard times, while not a misery tale, is filled with humor and escapades. He comes off as a charming, genial and humble man. His low self-esteem is especially ill-placed.

Part 2 opens in 1988. Bob is living in London’s homeless hostel, and working as a Legal Aid solicitor. He feels demoralized by all the difficulties of helping people in need.

Alan, a Middlesbrough acquaintance, approached Bob and invited him to see a friend perform above the local pub. Bob was reluctant to go along, as it was his only contact with social life.

It was Vic Reeves Big Night Out. Bob was awestruck. After the performance, Vic introduced Bob to Vic. Bob began going to his shows regularly and drinking with Vic, Alan and their friends.

Vic invited Bob onstage to give Vic a check when the show moved to a bigger venue.

Bob gradually became more involved with performing and writing and the show grew in popularity until it was commissioned by Channel 4 at 4:90 in 1990.

Bob quit his day job to embrace rock ‘n roll, and began hobnobbing around with Jarvis Cocker or Liam Gallagher.

Groucho Club members were invited to join him on the most popular Show Shooting Stars. He then went on to host a number of beloved shows together with Vic from Catterick up to House Of Fools.

After meeting Lisa, his partner in showbiz and becoming a father to two children, he decided to leave the entertainment industry.

Although open heart surgery was a significant experience in 2015, Bob’s survival brought a renewed lease on life.

Paul Whitehouse filmed Gone Fishing, his fourth series. It helped Whitehouse find his voice behind the camera.

The author ends his speech by asking readers to “take a quiet one” and to encourage them to shine.

Vic deserves our gratitude for bringing Bob Mortimer, the legendary figure in the spotlight.

and Away… Bob Mortimer (Simon & Schuster), PS20

Express Bookshop – 020 3176 3832

Publiated at Thu 16 Sep 2021, 23:01:00 +0000

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