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Comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse head to Norfolk for first episode of funny fishing show

PUBLISHED: 12:41 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 15 June 2018

Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse and JB enjoy a pike caught on a tiny bait. Picture: John Bailey

Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse and JB enjoy a pike caught on a tiny bait. Picture: John Bailey

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Comedy royalty spent two nights under canvas at a luxury camping site in Norfolk while they filmed their new BBC comedy about angling. On which note, two parrots were sitting on a perch. One said to the other ‘Can you smell fish?’

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 12/06/2018 - Programme Name: Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing  - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse - (C) Owl Power - Photographer: Parisa TaghizadehWARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 12/06/2018 - Programme Name: Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse - (C) Owl Power - Photographer: Parisa Taghizadeh

There’s yurtastic news for Norfolk: a camp site in Weston Longville will star in the first episode of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, a gentle new comedy from TV veterans Bob and Paul which follows their angling adventures around the country.

The new show, which begins on June 20 at 10pm on BBC2, will feature the pair’s fishing trip to Norfolk and – while they wait for the fish to take the bait – the friends will chat about everything, from their health to their childhoods, with lots of laughs along the way.

Paul is an experienced fisherman, Bob a complete novice. Paul thought a tour of the country’s finest fishing spots might help Bob’s recovery from heart surgery and that along the way maybe they would learn something about each other. In this funny and poignant six-part series, we eavesdrop on their expedition as they re-connect with each other and share their personal experiences of life. They also fish, and talk nonsense. A lot.

Mortimer has spoken fondly of the time spent in Norfolk’s Wye Valley and of the fish that he and Whitehouse – who studied at the University of East Anglia in the late 1970s - tried to catch while in the county: “If I were a British animal, I’d have to be the tench,” he told Countryfile, “it’s a fish that lives a lovely, lazy life at the bottom of the lake, seemingly sleeping a lot and taking the odd gulp of food that may pass by. It’s very hard to catch, though, but we did during filming Paul and Bob Go Fishing.”

Round the Woods, where Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer spent a night for their new BBC series (C) Kate SymondsRound the Woods, where Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer spent a night for their new BBC series (C) Kate Symonds

And the pair also gave the thumbs up to several Norfolk institutions while in the county, from the Round the Woods ‘glampsite’ in Weston Longville to The Fox pub at Lyng near Dereham where the comedians enjoyed several meals while filming at nearby Lenwade Lakes.

“Bob and Paul stayed for two nights in October last year and were wonderful guests, we were honoured to have them stay and try out a spot of glamping in our slice of beautiful Norfolk countryside,” said Kate Symonds of Round the Woods.

“They were so friendly and funny and seemed quite excited to stay in yurts. Round the Woods was the ideal site for them as we are close to some great fishing spots, which renowned Norfolk angler John Bailey sought out for them, and with just two yurts they had privacy and space to enjoy the site all to themselves.”

In the first episode, Bob tries to impress Paul with his childhood fishing rod - and fails. They share nostalgia for their younger years and reveal how they recently came face to face with their own mortality when both were diagnosed with serious heart problems. After a brief respite in a local brewery, the pair camp down in yurts before fishing again the next day where the elusive tench seems to evade them until the very last minute.

Paul Whitehouse (left) and Bob Mortimer (second right) with Fox at Lyng landlords Gavin Hunt and Vikki King. Picture supplied by Vikki KingPaul Whitehouse (left) and Bob Mortimer (second right) with Fox at Lyng landlords Gavin Hunt and Vikki King. Picture supplied by Vikki King

* Find out more about Round the Woods here

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