Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing 14 November 2021: Sunday on BBC Two

Series 3 Episode 6 of 6 – Bob and Paul revisit the River Wye in Herefordshire. Last time they were here, they fished the Middle Wye for barbel, but this time they head to the spectacular Lower Wye to fish for chub.

Bob has decided to meet Paul at the river and makes his entrance from upstream – on a rowing boat. Any annoyance Paul has at Bob disturbing his rod and the fish is soon replaced with amusement as he witnesses Bob trying to exit the boat.

They talk tactics, and Bob is pleased to hear that almost anything goes when it comes to suitable bait for the chub. They start to fish, but Bob is distracted by the beautiful views. They discuss the times they have got emotional, the last time they cried and whether it is better to live in the moment or reminisce about past times.

Bob tells Paul that he has invited a doctor to come and talk to them about men’s health. They discuss what they might want to ask him and agree the conversation will probably end up being about matters ‘downstairs’. With thunder and lightning looming, they decide to call it a day and take refuge in their accommodation for the night – a converted dovecote situated in the idyllic grounds of a 700-year-old manor house.

The next day, Paul and Bob return to the river. The rainclouds have passed, but the river is high and fast. Paul gillies for Bob, and as they wait for something to bite, they talk about self-diagnosis and hypochondria in anticipation of meeting the doctor. Dr Anand Patel arrives at the riverbank, and Paul and Bob discuss with him the health issues that most affect men at their stage of life. They touch on physical but also mental health issues and recall the reasons they started fishing together in the first place – Bob’s sudden heart operation and the effect it had on him in the following months.

They fish some more as the afternoon passes, and Bob carries out his final catering duties of the series – he boils the Kelly Kettle and makes some tea, which Paul refuses to drink thanks to its grey tinge and the addition of a twig floating on top. But they both know there is more to being here than drinking tea – and as Paul settles in for a last spot of fishing, it is time for Bob to get in his boat again. As he floats away downriver, we leave Paul and Bob doing what makes them happy, in a place that fills their hearts with joy. Surely, that is the best medicine.

Watch this episode online on BBC iPlayer

About Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Comedians and lifelong friends Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse share their personal and hilarious life experiences while travelling around the UK fishing for elusive species.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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