BBC blasted for going 'woke' as it hires vegan comedian to host fishing show: 'Completely ruined'

BBC blasted for going 'woke' as it hires vegan comedian to host fishing show: 'Completely ruined'

Lee Mack makes his debut on Gone Fishing on the BBC

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 02/10/2023

- 11:35

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing fans were less than impressed with the latest episode

The BBC has been accused of going "woke" after vegan comedian Lee Mack stepped in to host the latest episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

Comedian Bob Mortimer usually fronts the light-hearted show alongside pal Paul Whitehouse but had to take a step back from filming the latest instalment due to health woes.

Mortimer did appear in the latest episode of Gone Fishing but only via a mobile phone screen to inform his cast mate he had come down with shingles.

The comedian informed Whitehouse he'd lined up a replacement and before long, Mack joined Whitehouse by the water to get ready for a day of fishing.

However, Mack had his reservations as he told Whitehouse: "This is the thing, this is what I was worried about doing when Bob asked me to come. I don't fish.

"And when I say I don't fish, I don't mean I can't fish, 'Teach me, grasshopper,' I don't mean that. I mean I won't fish because I'm a vegan."

Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse was surprised to see Lee Mack step in


Whitehouse asked: "Did Bob know this before he put you forward as a candidate? Or did everyone else say no?"

Mack then joked that Mortimer did know he was a vegan but went ahead with having him involved because it would "annoy" Whitehouse.

However, it appears the only people Mortimer irked with his choice were BBC viewers at home, with a number fuming that the show had lost a key part of its charm due to Mack's veganism.

Many also bemoaned Mack's persistent reminders of his choice, which sparked waves of disgruntled comments online.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, one viewer fumed: "Gone Fishing totally gone woke no surprise really from the bbc, it’s slowly been happening over the last 2 series.

"Why have a vegan who won’t fish on a ‘fishing’ programme. Lee Mack is the least funniest person in the world. Bring back Bob #gonefishing."

A second echoed: "I do love Lee Mack but I was really hoping @Feargal_Sharkey was going to be Bob’s substitute fisherman. He & Paul would have been a great double act & more chat about the state of our rivers is always needed #gonefishing."

Elsewhere a third complained: "Sorry but Lee Mack on Gone Fishing didn't work for me, there was barely any fishing owing to LM being Vegan (WTF) and it wasn't funny. Should have just let Whitehouse and Ted do the episode on their own with Bob on Facetime."

Meanwhile, another switched off: "Turned off #gonefishing. @LeeMack shouldn't have gone on if he is vegan and refuses to fish.

"He's just being annoying with his magnet 'fishing'. Would have rather they missed an episode tbh than replace Bob. Get well soon Bob. We'll wait for you."

"Gone fishing completely ruined by the deeply unfunny Lee 'I’m a vegan don’t you know?' Mack. First time I’ve contemplated turning it off half way through. Why invite a vegan onto a fishing show?! Get well soon Bob! #Gonefishing #LeeMack," a fifth weighed in.

Paul Whitehouse and Lee Mack

Paul Whitehouse and Lee Mack spoke to Bob Mortimer over the phone


And a sixth was outraged as they commented: "Totally disappointed in this 'woke' gone fishing episode. Ruined by the BBCs idea that this is the way to go.

"Well! Let me tell you, we watched it and it was naff. Absolutely pathetic. We love Lee Mack, but this was so wrong on every count. Hated it all.....#gonefishing."

However, there were a few who were quick to defend Mack's inclusion, as one argued: "I need to make it clear cos I’m seeing a lot of hating on Lee Mack.

"I really like Lee Mack, it wouldn’t matter how good he was, it’s a chemistry thing. You can’t do a goddam thing about that. It’s fate."

The BBC also managed to irk a number of viewers on Sunday evening with the premiere of Boiling Point, with a number of viewers "switching off" due to a distracting issue with the show.

Luckily for regular viewers, Mortimer will be back to front the show soon once he recovers from his shingles woes.

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