TV legend Bob Mortimer has opened up on his ‘very unhealthy’ year as he battled shingles – which made his muscles ‘wither’. He spoke to friend and fellow comedian Paul Whitehouse during an episode of Gone Fishing.

While sitting on the banks during the Friday evening episode, Bob, 64, said his shingles – a skin infection that causes a painful rash and is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – had taken over his life during the last 12 months.

Bob explained: “It’s been a very, very, very unhealthy year for me Paul with my shingles. And, you know what? It was worse than my heart period.” Bob, who underwent triple heart bypass surgery in 2015, had rheumatoid arthritis since childhood. The comedy legend said it caused the muscles in his body to wither and now he can no longer go for a run.

READ MORE Bob Mortimer health problems from Gone Fishing star’s childhood illness to major surgery

He says as much as eighty per cent of the muscles in his legs have been lost due to his illness. Bob continued: “The muscles I’ve lost, I’ve lost… But other ones can compensate for it, you know what I mean? I can make the other muscles stronger but I have a terrible feeling I’m never going to be able to run again and you know that I used to like to run Paul.”

Paul comforted his co-star before saying: “I’m really sorry about that mate.” Bob had to drop out of co-hosting Gone Fishing after he couldn’t move due to shingles and Lee Mack stepped in.

Bob said his health issues were beginning to “dominate” his life during a chat on Sunday Brunch in November. He said: “When you get to my age, it’s your joints that go – that’s what dominates your life.”

He also explained that he was no longer able to complete chores and hobbies that he has always loved. He said: “I used to love preparing an exterior of a property ready to paint, but I can’t do that anymore.”

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