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Mortimer’s Plastic Briefcase

Do you ever wonder what your former colleagues would make of your escape?

I just watched a 1997 Omnibus film about comedians Reeves & Mortimer in which the filmmakers took the unusual step of interviewing Bob Mortimer’s old boss.

It’s fairly common knowledge that Bob was working unhappily and fairly incompetently as a solicitor when he joined Vic Reeves on stage. Apparently, he took ten weeks off from his job to make their first television series Big Night Out and never came back.

To be honest, his old boss is a good sport and where she’s disparaging of Bob’s conduct I get the impression she’s playing along somewhat and giving the filmmakers what they want.

“We always called him Robert, never Bob,” she says.

She has on the desk in front of her a briefcase left at the office by Bob. It is, apparently, plastic. “I think probably the fact that it’s plastic says more about his legal career than anything.”

What we he like in the office?

“Scatty, a bit disorganised. He would not always be in at the time he aught to have been in, usually because he’d had a heavy night the night before. As I later discovered, I think a lot of the time when he was up at his desk on the phone, I think he was actually on the phone to Vic, writing sketches.”

Did he ever tell you he was not coming back?

“Well, I thought he was coming back but he never did. […] Which caused some difficulties for a while.”

What did he leave behind?

“A caseload of cases to be done, a desk which I tidied up and found things like very old pieces of cake.”

What did you think of the Big Night Out when you saw it on TV? Did you find it funny?

“No.”

Isn’t that superb?

Bob Mortimer, by the way, may have predicted New Escapologist magazine with his his own Scarperering Monthly, which “is dedicated to people who like to do a bunk.”

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