Bob Mortimer is replaced by Lee Mack in the next episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing after he falls ill with shingles.
In Sunday’s episode (October 1), the comedian tells his co-host Paul Whitehouse over Facetime that he is unable to make the trip to Burgh Island in Devon due to illness, with Mack drafted in as a surprise guest instead.
Speaking about the change in presenters on BBC’s Morning Live on Friday (September 29), Whitehouse confirms that Mortimer returns for the final episode of the series.
“Bob wasn’t very well, he’s had shingles,” Whitehouse said. “He’s alright now and he’s able to come back to the next episode, but he lines up a replacement, a substitute. How can anyone be a substitute for Robert Mortimer?”
Bob Mortimer. CREDIT: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
The penultimate episode of the sixth series airs Sunday at 9pm on BBC Two.
Earlier this month, Mortimer, who had triple heart bypass surgery in 2015, explained how the factual series largely came about due to his health struggles.
Speaking on The One Show, Mortimer said: “Yeah I wasn’t very well. I’m never very well. It’s been a long time since I was very well.
“So Paul took me fishing to get me out the doldrums after heart operations. And that’s how it all started.”
In September last year, Mortimer said he was hospitalised shortly after filming on the series.
Speaking on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre podcast, Mortimer said: “I did a show last week, a fishing show and there was only two and a half days filming and I did it Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday and I was in hospital on the Saturday.
“I am sorry I should not have said that should I? It’s a real downer.”
In the same interview (via The Sun), the comedian said he had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, after having the condition in his mid-20s.
“I have been free of it since I have been 34 and it came back 10 days ago,” he added. “It is really sad for me to know whether it will go. Yes I might be fat but actually, I am on steroids.”