TWO of Britain’s most-loved comedians can be seen on screen fishing at a secluded Radnorshire lake next month – after they were reeled in by a fascinating, ancient local tale involving mystical fish and monks.

Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse wade into Elan Valley waters as Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing returns to BBC Two this weekend. Series 4 of the show – which features lifelong friends Mortimer, 62, and Whitehouse, 63, reflecting on life after their shared major heart problems, while fishing in various locations around Britain – starts on Sunday, August 29.

And Llyngwyn Lake, near Rhayader, will feature in episode five, to be aired on Sunday, September 26. Llyngwyn is a 16-acre spring-fed natural lake situated three miles east of Rhayader, accessible off the A44 and the A470. The lake varies in depth, from shallow margins to 55 feet at its deepest.

As long ago as the 12th century the lake was stocked with carp by the Cistercian Monks from nearby Abbeycwmhir. The lake was fished by the monks on their travels from the abbey at Strata Florida across the Cambrian Mountains at Pontrhydfendigaid, near Tregaron.

County Times:  Catch of the day: Comedian Bob Mortimer poses with Mid Wales' own local celebrity, Arthur Jones Catch of the day: Comedian Bob Mortimer poses with Mid Wales' own local celebrity, Arthur Jones

The same strain of carp still exists in the lake today and you can fish for them using fly fishing tackle – and it was this story that hooked the comedy duo into filming the new episode.

“I wrote to them after watching the Christmas special last year and told them about Llyngwyn,” said keen local angler Tom Jones, treasurer of the Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association, who fishes the lake often.

“The production team loved the story about Llyngwyn and how this ancient strain of carp was put there by the monks as they passed between the abbeys.

“So they sent the production team to meet me at the shop and I took them down the lake and showed them round.

“They signed it off and agreed to film there last May. We had to keep it quiet though.”

Mortimer, famous for his comedic partnership with Vic Reeves, and Whitehouse, who starred in The Fast Show with Harry Enfield, filmed in Radnorshire in May, and happily posed for pictures with Tom and young son Arthur.

You may remember the father and son duo – particularly young Arthur – from the brilliant and heart-warming John Lewis-style Christmas adverts shot in Rhayader and often involving Hafod Hardware, which has been in Tom’s family for more than two decades.

With Whitehouse boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge of angling and Mortimer stepping up as head chef and location scout, the show becomes something of a skill exchange between the pair.

“Fishing gives us the opportunity to go to beautiful places and reflect on life,” Whitehouse, who was born in south Wales, told the PA news agency.

“There are many other pursuits you could do, but for us it works because it’s been my passion and it’s something that Bob has always wanted to do.”

With filming locations encompassing stunning Powys, as well as North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, the Norfolk Broads and scores of other picturesque locations, the show is also a tribute to the idyllic nature of the British landscape.

The series tries to emphasise the usually calming nature of fishing, touching on both the physical and mental benefits of the sport in relation to the pair’s own health scares.

“We had to both deal with heart problems – mine was a lot less serious than Bob’s,” added Whitehouse, referring to his co-star’s recent heart surgery.

“All we wanted to say, really, was that if you’ve got heart problems, it’s not the end,” added Mortimer.

*Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing series four starts on BBC Two on Sunday, August 29, at 8pm