COMIC Bob Mortimer was in such danger before his triple heart bypass surgery that he was granted special permission to marry on the morning of the procedure.
The comedian, who is one half of double act Reeves and Mortimer, was told last autumn that his arteries were 95% blocked.
He wed his partner of 22 years Lisa Matthews on the morning of the operation.
He said: “I found out on the Thursday that I needed surgery, so I made a will on the Friday.
“I found out I couldn’t get married to Lisa because you have to give 21 days’ notice or something.
“My consultant said I was incredibly ill, so the registrar in London gave me permission to get married on the Monday.
“So I got married at 9.30am on the Monday, and went to hospital at 10am to have my operation.”
The only guests at the wedding were the couple’s two children, Harry and Tom, so Mortimer’s comedy partner Vic Reeves did not get a chance to be his best man.
After the operation, the initial leg of the comedy duo’s first tour since 1995 was cancelled so Mortimer could recuperate.
But now the rest of the tour, 25 Years Of Reeves & Mortimer: The Poignant Moments, is set to go ahead - beginning in Leeds on January 30.
Mortimer, 56, said: “I feel fine. We’re doing a little warm-up show on Saturday ... If I don’t drop we’ll be fine.”
He added: “I’ve just redone all my tests and they said if I was a builder or a scaffolder I would be absolutely fine to do it. And we don’t do anything like heavy labour in the show.”
But he does still have to be careful with his diet and heart rate, and will have to monitor his health on stage.
He said: “I’ve got a thing that gives me a constant reading of my heart rate. If it gets over that I’ll just have to walk off.”
The news that he was gravely ill came “completely out of the blue”, Mortimer said.
He went to the doctor with a suspected chest infection, but was advised to have his heart checked out. Tests revealed he was gravely ill.
He said: “It came completely out of the blue.
“It isn’t something that causes you any pain until it’s done. I think my arteries were 95% blocked. It’s hard to believe, because I felt fine.
“I thought, because I’m going on tour, and I’ve got a bit of a chest infection, I’d better go and see the doctor.”
On his 25 years of performing with Reeves, Mortimer said: “First and foremost this is probably a friendship really and this is a way of acting it out.”
With characters from across their comedy career expected to make an on-stage appearance, Mortimer labelled it a “nostalgia tour”.
Reeves joked: “It has to be, at a certain stage.”
On their decision to go on tour for the first time since 1995’s Weathercock 1495, Reeves said: “I think it’s the 25 years thing.
“We’ve been thinking about it for some time - shall we go on tour? Because we’re quite happy making films. But we thought: it’s about time.”