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'Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing' to return for nostalgic Series 8

ExclusiveWednesday 12th June 2024, 9:00am by Jay Richardson

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Image shows left to right: Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse
  • Gone Fishing is shooting an eighth series, revisiting the riverbanks of Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer's formative years
  • Six more episodes have been ordered, ahead of the seventh series airing on BBC Two later this year
  • Mortimer said: "I'm looking forward to visiting old haunts from my younger years as Paul and I will be travelling back in time for this series, going to fish in places which shaped our lives"

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing is returning for an eighth series on BBC Two, and with a more personal angle, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Filming on six more 30-minute episodes will begin later this year, with the pair travelling to Whitehouse's birthplace of Wales and revisiting Mortimer's formative years in the north-west of England, accompanied by their trusty hound Ted the dog.

"I can't wait to get back to Gone Fishing with that other bloke in tow," said Whitehouse. Mortimer added: "I'm looking forward to visiting old haunts from my younger years as Paul and I will be travelling back in time for this series, going to fish in places which shaped our lives."

Gone Fishing's seventh series, airing later this year, expands the show's run to eight episodes for the first time, with the pair's excursions seeing them visit Bedfordshire, North Norfolk and Northern Ireland.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Image shows from L to R: Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer. Copyright: Owl Power

More than a fifth of the show's viewers watched the sixth series last autumn on iPlayer, with the Christmas special filmed in Scotland the fourth most-watched factual series on BBC Two over the last twelve months.

Mortimer became ill ahead of shooting the fifth episode, fishing for wrasse on Burgh Island off the south coast of Devon, so Lee Mack, who had already been booked as a guest, stepped up to deputise for him. Mortimer still appeared briefly though, through Facetime.

Speaking on Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, in an episode released within the last fortnight, Mortimer admitted that he "felt rotten" about the criticism Mack had attracted for inadvertently breaking up the established partnership, sighing "but there you go, that's the world we live in innit?"

Ironically, Mortimer himself was deputising for Bill Bailey as a guest on the podcast, after the musical comic pulled out of the recording because of a scheduling issue.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Image shows from L to R: Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer. Copyright: Owl Power

Reflecting on the screen success of his relationship with Whitehouse, Mortimer said: "I genuinely have worked with Paul since 1989, so we're just mates. And we're going fishing together, before we did the show. And I do think that's something you can't do as a pretence.

"There's a show I saw where there was a celebrity who would invite their celebrity friends to come away with them to stay places. And lovely show. But you knew they weren't that person's friend.

"Paul and I have just got lucky in that respect because unbeknown to us, I think people have quite enjoyed just watching a genuine friendship. Nothing more than that really. It has been a success and I don't really know why. We make the UK look beautiful because we have the time to do that. We're fishing for six hours, so the crew can go off and take beautiful shots. It's occasionally a bit funny, just because, you know, we're there for eight hours. But at the end of the day I think the success is actually just that friendship."

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Image shows from L to R: Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer. Copyright: Owl Power

Made by Mortimer and Whitehouse's own production company, Owl Power, Gone Fishing is executive produced by Lisa Clark (Shooting Stars, Vic & Bob's Big Night Out). It was commissioned by Catherine Catton, BBC head of commissioning, factual entertainment and events, with Patrick McMahon the BBC commissioning editor.

"We're so happy to welcome Paul and Bob back for another slice of fishing, friendship and riverbank philosophy" said McMahon. "Following their adventures and spending time in their company is always a treat, and this series promises to be the most personal and pleasurable yet".

Clark, added: "I'm so delighted we can continue to showcase our beautiful country in the company of Paul, Bob and Ted of course.

"There's so much more to explore for both man and beast with plenty of muck for Ted to roll in and Bob to fall over, while Paul quietly concentrates on the fishing in hand." 

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