- Title And Away...
- Author Bob Mortimer
- Year 2021
- Genre Memoir
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.
I was a bit nervous going into this book because having seen Bob Mortimer on Would I Lie To You, I wasn’t sure how full of fanciful stories this was going to be, with little reality. But actually the author upfront says it’s 90% true and the areas where there are some fibs are highlighted. And that being the case, it’s a really great memoir. I loved how it was structured, jumping back and forth in time between Bob discovering his heart problem and then the recovery from open heart surgery, to working through the details of his early life, his time as a solicitor, and meeting Jim Moir and becoming Vic and Bob.
It’s really good and actually, as someone who has suffered with shyness before, I really related to his stories on that and felt like it was a good book to help raise awareness of how difficult it can be, and help some people be seen. Top work.
Rating: 5 / 5