Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer begin their rescheduled 15 date tour on the 30th January after Mortimer’s recovery from surgery. At a press conference for the shows, the two comics were their usual barmy selves, answering serious questions with the kind of hilarious nonsense that their shows are famed for. After pulling out of the tour in October after suddenly being rushed into hospital, press were keen to discover how Bob’s triple heart bypass might affect the performances from two of our most loved comedians.
The tour, titled ’25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Moments’, celebrates a quarter century of the two working together “on telly”, as Vic Reeves (real name James Moir) hastens to add, telling us that the partnership actually began in 1987. “We started in the Goldsmiths Tavern,” Reeves informs us, “so it’s been 25 years on TV, but we were doing it in theatres before that. It was just me to start with and I made up a new show every week. Bob came down one day and I said why don’t you join in-” “His dog had died, it was a one man and his dog act before then,” Bob interjects as we all laugh. This style of bouncing off one another formulates the majority of their comedy work and makes witnessing them together in real life all the more entertaining.
When asked why has it taken 20 years for the two to perform live again, they answered that “it was the anniversary thing that spurred us on – we’d been thinking about it for a while and decided that it was the right time. We’re lucky really as we’ve had Shooting Stars, then Families At War, then Shooting Stars, then House of Fools, so the telly has always been our priority. But because of this 25 year thing we decided no, we’ll clear the diary for a couple of months and do a tour.”
Audiences are told to expect much-loved songs and a variety of classic characters on stage that “will all appear every night but may vary in context and length. We’re going to stick to a kind of template but we will veer off. We keep changing our minds! That’s the problem now-” “We’re old!” “-so we can’t remember and keep wanting to change our minds. We’re not that professional,” Vic smirks. “We like to give the audience something new all the time and it’s a curse. We could bark out catchphrases but our fans are our friends. We come into work and start writing stuff, put a seal on it then come back, rip the seal off and write something new so who knows what’s going to happen,” muses Vic. “But it’s all there. We know what we’re doing but we like to change it up.”
The main topic of interest for many is how Bob is feeling after his major surgery. He reassured us that “I feel fine, we’re doing a little warm up show on Saturday and if I don’t drop then I should be fine. There’s nothing wrong with my heart as it were, just my arteries, so I’ve got new arteries now and fitter than I was before.” Having just been given the all-clear by doctors to take part in their usually physical comedy shows, Bob says “We don’t do any heavy labour in the show so it should be fine. Whether I’ll be funny – no comment,” while Vic insists that “they took that part out of you,” to Bob.
When asked how he coped when hearing the news of Bob’s urgent surgery, Vic laughs that he “immediately started scouring the newspapers to see if there was anyone else I could do this with – that was my first thought. Of course I was worried, because you don’t want your best mate to end up with anything wrong with him… and end your career.” The pair can joke about it now, but the seriousness of Bob’s condition escalated so quickly that he was granted special permission to get married without the standard 21 days notice: “I got married at half nine on the Monday and went to hospital at 10 to have the operation.” Bob went to the doctors believing that he had a chest infection; five days later he went under the knife with 95% blocked arteries.
Despite this, the surgery will not hinder the duo when performing, in fact, this nostalgia tour should prove even more poignant after Mortimer’s scare at the end of last year. He states that performing comedy as part of their double act is a way of them acting out their friendship – something that all audience members pick up on whether it be through their genuine, infectious laughter mid-scene or the flowing nature of the sketches. The fun that the two of them have makes this tour an absolute must-see for any fans of experiencing silly, childlike humour in it’s purest form.
Tickets for their 15 dates around the UK can be bought via this link.