Think of a fishing version of that classic road movie Thelma and Louise, but with less sex and more jokes, and that pretty much sums up episode one of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing!
In this first episode, we saw lifelong friends and comic royalty Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse, fish for tench in Norfolk. It was funny, interesting and at times surprisingly poignant. This was perfect easy viewing television that is just what the doctor ordered just before bedtime.
The poignancy of this show came from it being revealed that both of them had suffered with heart complaints in the past. In the case of Bob, he had recently had a triple heart bypass we were told. You do not get much more serious than this and so it was moving to hear him recount his tale about being told the news by his doctor. He told us how when he finally got home with the news he wept. There was something very striking about hearing something so serious, come from a man that is usually so funny.
The format of the show took the form of a bit of fishing interspersed with bits of amusing chat along the way. The humour did not feel forced in any way, and instead what we got was a glimpse of just two good old mates enjoying the banter as they enjoyed a trip out. Bob trying to learn how to fish was funny and another comedy highlight was when they visited a local brewery.
Whereas Paul was the fisherman out of the two of them, Bob came into his own in the cooking sphere. He was in charge of cooking the meal by the camp stove which rather amusingly had Brokeback Mountain connotations about it all. Bob was also seemingly in charge of the itinerary for the trip.
A stunning contrast to the banter and fishing, were the glorious scenic camera shots taken of Norfolk that we saw. These shots helped to punctuate the action and helped give the show a lovely tranquil flow about it.
There are no negatives to comment on for this first episode. It was a really enjoyable watch that had this lovely genuine feel about it. This coupled with the humour made it a viewing delight.
Definitely one to watch again next week! 4/5.