Bob Mortimer might now be a successful comedian, but back in the 1980s the star’s life was very different – and he even lived in a hostel for the homeless.
In fact, the 63-year-old – who is now legendary for his work with Vic Reeves – opted to live at the location because he “liked it”, while he sought more long-term accommodation.
Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, he shared a snap from way back when featuring an old-fashioned TV in the background, Bob captioned the image: “‘Living in homeless hostel. Peckham 1985.”
He added mischievously: “Smoking hard and loving life.”
The star, who is barely recognisable in the snap taken almost 40 years ago, admitted that he was once branded the “Cockroach King” after he took the borough to court over the allegedly appalling living conditions there.
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He had been working as a solicitor at the local council offices at that time.
In an interview with Desert Island Discs back in 2019, he elaborated: “I was on the front of the local paper – a picture of me as the Cockroach King!
“I did a very good job of playing the system. I could more or less guarantee people that could re-house them, which is what they wanted.
“They were living in dumps and I could get them out. It really changed their lives.”
It was during the three or four year period when he resided in the hostel that his luck changed dramatically after a friend suggested they go to Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out.
That evening, he met Vic himself – and the pair would soon click and become a hugely successful comedy duo.
However, back in those early days, he had no permanent address other than the cockroach-infested hostel.
He elaborated to Desert Island Discs: “I had nowhere to stay in London so the council said that I could stay in their homeless hostel until I found somewhere. I ended up staying there for four years.”
In other stories of strife concerning the star, he and Vic Reeves – whose real name is Jim Moir – once ended up in the notorious danger spot of Compton in California and had an intimidating encounter with a gunman.
Vic told of the “doomed” 1992 trip on a podcast with Jools Holland, admitting: “We did a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of Compton… a big van turned up next to us at the lights and a fellow pointed a gun at us through the window and said, ‘Get out of here!'”