From Goodreads: “The long-awaited first autobiography by national treasure Bob Mortimer. Bob Mortimer’s life was trundling along happily until suddenly in 2015 he was diagnosed with a heart condition that required immediate surgery and forced him to cancel an upcoming tour. The episode unnerved him, but forced him to reflect on his life so far. This is the framework for his hilarious and moving memoir, And Away… Although his childhood in Middlesbrough was normal on the surface, it was tinged by the loss of his dad, and his own various misadventures (now infamous from his appearances on Would I Lie to You?), from burning down the family home to starting a short-lived punk band called Dog Dirt. As an adult, he trained as a solicitor and moved to London. Though he was doing pretty well (the South London Press once crowned him ‘The Cockroach King’ after a successful verdict), a chance encounter in a pub in the 1980s with a young comedian going by the name Vic Reeves set his life on a different track. And now, six years on, the heart condition that once threatened his career has instead led to new success on BBC2’s Gone Fishing. Warm, profound, and irrepressibly funny, And Away… is Bob’s full life story (with a few lies thrown in for good measure).“
This was hilarious, a real laugh out loud autobiography from one of Britain’s funniest comedians!
As soon as I spotted that this book was coming out, I knew that I wanted to listen to it rather than read it. It was definitely the right decision as only Bob Mortimer himself could deliver the weird and wacky stories from his own past, just like he does on the panel show Would I Lie To You?.
Before listening to this the only thing I really knew about Bob Mortimer was his comedy career with Vic Reeves and more recently his Gone Fishing TV series with Paul Whitehouse. I’d listened to their audiobook last year and discovered he’d had a heart bypass and also that he’d been a solicitor before he became a comedian. Other than that I really didn’t know much about him, or where his comedy roots had come from.
I loved the stories from his childhood and adolescence, so many had me crying with laughter, even making me smile now as I think about them. The story about the Greyhound called ‘The Wedge’ and Brian his workmate doing the bins was brilliant! As were the interview at Cambridge University and some of his probation service stories. I loved the witch’s house story, with the tiny pony, old lady and the toilet seat and makeup club at school was hilarious! I’ve absolutely no idea if any of them they were lies or true stories, which is typical Bob Mortimer! 😹
It’s not all hilarious though, as he spoke candidly about how’s he really struggled with shyness all his life and with depression at uni. It was really quite sad at times, especially when revealed how hard he found it making and keeping friends.
I also enjoyed hearing about his TV shows with Vic Reeves, especially when about the revamp of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), as it’s a family favourite. There was lots of silly stories off and on set and also some embarrassing ones too!
I highly recommend this on audio if you enjoy humourous autobiographies read by the author.