The much-loved comedian and presenter has found himself increasingly enjoying gardening and country life in recent years.
In an episode of ‘Gone Fishing’, the gentle TV BBC programme in which he stars with friend and fellow comedian Paul Whitehouse, he talks about his love of gardening and ponders the fact the horticultural hobby often creeps up on us all eventually. “I’ve spent increasingly long amounts of time in the garden,” he tells Paul. “People who do garden look at people like you who say ‘I don’t garden’, thinking you’ll get there…”
Bob lives in Kent with his wife Lisa Matthews. They had already been together for 22 years before they married in a dramatic fashion, on the same day that Bob underwent major heart surgery, driving straight to the hospital from the register office.
Since the operation, Bob has been forced to look after his health better, and the couple are embracing nature and gentle outdoor pursuits, particularly now their two boys Harry and Tom have left home. “Lisa and I are empty-nesters with the boys at uni, we love to head off to the country for the weekend.” And Bob puts the secret of their happy relationship down to shared interests. “We go walking. We enjoy doing the garden,” he told the Guardian.
We’ve caught glimpses of some of his favourite plants from his Twitter posts. In one Bob has proudly posted an image of a big clump of alliums about to burst, “love these guys” he says. He’s also a big fan of agapanthus, posting several images of the stunning blooms that clearly thrive in his garden, with one photo of himself standing next to a giant agapanthus captioned, “tall man…taller agapanthus”.
He charts the highs and lows of his life in his memoir, And Away, sharing moments from his diary in Saga magazine. “Since my brush with mortality I appreciate so many things that had gone unappreciated before in my life, such as my home and my garden. I guess you could look back on an event like a heart crisis and see it as something positive.”