Published On: Sat, Aug 17th, 2019

Tony Mortimer: East 17 star went from fresh-faced youth to unrecognisable adult

Tony Mortimer is one of several celebrities appearing on Pointless Celebrities on BBC One today. The 1990s special sees presenters Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman welcoming a host of celebs onto the programme. Tonight’s episode features Colin Jackson and Roger Black, Rowetta and Tony Mortimer, Tim Vincent and Anna Ryder Richardson, and Kirsten O’Brie and Chesney Hawkes. Mortimer found fame with boy band East 17 which he began in 1991, named after the group’s Walthamstow postcode.

Fans of the 90s band may well remember Mortimer as a slight, clean-shaven youth with a head of brown hair.

However, decades later, fans have claimed they have failed to recognise him when he made public appearances.

In January 2018 the singer performed Stay Another Day on the Christmas special of The Great British Bake Off.

Sporting a chunkier physique than in his East 17 heyday, Mortimer’s hairline was appeared to be receding and a shadow of stubble could be seen across his face.

Fans expressed their shock confusion after spotting him on the hit baking show.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “OMG is it that bloke from East 17? #GBBO’ while another added: “No way! Is that Tony Mortimer?”

A third tweeted: “Whoa whoa whoa… tony is old! #gbbo #east17.” Some people took to capital letters they were so flabbergasted: “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO TONY MORTIMER,” one viewer commented.

Others added: “Actual Tony Mortimer on #GBBO” and “Tony Mortimer KLAXON! #GBBO.”

His change in appearance didn’t stop fans sharing their love of the band, however. One viewer wrote: “Loved seeing @tony_mortimer on #GBBO #NewYearTreat #stillafan.”

Others added: “Loving Tony Mortimer on The Bake Off!” and “@tony_mortimer great to see you on bake off.”

Mortimer has previously acknowledged gaining some weight since his youth. He spoke to London newspaper the Islington Gazette back in 2011 ahead of East 17’s tour.

“It’s weird, at school me an’ John [Hendy] used to dream about being in Wham and Club Tropicana,” he said.

“Then we were flying to Italy to do our video the other day I said to him, ‘This is it, after all these years, this is finally our Club Tropicana moment – but now we are old and fat’.

“I’ve not got long, and I reckon I need to lose about 15 stone for the tour!”

Pointless Celebrities is far from Mortimer’s only turn on the British television screen. He has appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and competed in the BBC’s Winter Wipeout series.

The singer was a panellist on Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff in 2012 and again in June 2013. In the same year, he was a guest on ITV’s Loose Women.

Last week on Pointless Celebrities, the guests were DJs Rickie Haywood-Williams and Melvin Odoom, Loose Women panellist Andrea McLean and former presenter Carol Smilie, author Katy Brand and Su Pollard and comic royalty Syd Little and Eddie Large. 

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