The British funnyman cancelled the first leg of his tour with comedy partner Vic Reeves last year (15) after he discovered he needed the emergency heart operation.

Mortimer has now revealed he arranged to marry Lisa Matthews, his partner of 22 years, within days and they tied the knot in a registry office in front of their two teenage sons, Harry and Tom, 30 minutes before he went into surgery.

He said during a press conference for his tour, "I found out I needed heart surgery on the Thursday, so I made a will on the Friday... Found out I couldn't get married to Lisa because you have to give 21 days notice... But my consultant said I was incredibly ill, so the registrar in London - I don't live in London - gave me permission to get married on the Monday...

"I got married at half nine (in the morning) on the Monday then went into hospital for the operation at 10... there was just me, the wife and our two kids in the registry office, that's it."

The newlyweds are yet to take a honeymoon as he is still recovering from the operation.

Mortimer will return to the stage to resume the 25 Years of Reeves & Mortimer: The Poignant Moments tour in Leeds, England on 30 January (16).