Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing

Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing

This is a delicious little show which does much more than it says on the tin. It’s how Telly should be.

The honesty, frankness and genuine affection Paul and Bob show to each other really makes the whole series. You can’t fake good on-screen relationships.

The premise goes something like this. Both comedians have had recent reminders of their own mortality. Paul needed a stent fitting and Bob recently had a triple heart bypass. The show is the result of Paul dragging Bob out fishing in real life, during his recovery, when he was wallowing about a bit at home.

The days they spent on the riverbank off screen were a good enough craic to lift both their spirits, they decided to do more and a six part show for the TV was born. Lucky us!

Each episode they go after a particular fish, Paul sorts out the location whilst Bob books acommodation and cooks their Heart Healthy Food, the varying quality of which becomes a bit of a running in-joke.

In common with all the TV greats, it appears effortless. It’s a joy to go on a journey with them, watch them give each other stick and make one another laugh. It’s a genuinely funny show and makes you want to be part of their gang or get back in touch with an old friend.

Like Going Live, S&M TV, TFI Friday, even Tiswas. You can’t spot a pre-arranged gag or a setup anywhere, it appears completely organic, this should be enough to make you give it a watch alone.

Something else that’s super rare is the format of six half hour shows, something which anecdotally at least feels like a dying breed, even on the BBC.

On Channel 4 this would definitely have been an hour long with four ad-breaks and a programme sponsor. And you’d have had to suffer a 90 second recap of what happened just before the ads each time a segment started.

Amazing Spaces I’m looking at you.

Gone Fishing is the polar opposite of this patronising nonsense. It’s gentle, gimmick free and leaves you wanting more. Even some of the clips in the shows opening sequence don’t make it into the episodes, so you never feel like you’ve seen it all before it actually begins.

It’s success then I suppose is down to few things. Being born organically, avoiding EPG clickbait but most of all Paul and Bob are tremendous in it and let us into their world honestly openly. It also helps that they’re both funny!

The producers have done that very lucky and cool thing of letting a show stand on it’s own two feet without any aparrent interference. Tremendous.

For me it is a truly wonderful little weekly treat and I truly hope a second series of something very similar is already in the offing.

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