Belfast Telegraph

Son's music brought Benidorm star Tim Healy 'back to land of living'

Tim Healy has said his son's music brought him back to "the land of the living" when he fell into a coma after becoming ill while shooting Benidorm.

The actor, 65, was taken ill while filming the upcoming ninth series of the ITV show in Spain last year, and was in a coma for days with reports at the time saying he was fighting for his life.

Healy, whose oldest son Matthew fronts rock band The 1975, said his wife Joan was "in bits", adding: "She said that while I was in a coma she kept playing my son's music to me, she had his album on a loop.

"After a few days I started smiling and then I came round, so it was my son's music that brought me back to the land of the living."

The actor's cross-dressing character Les/Lesley was written out while he fought the mystery illness and Healy said he still has no idea how.

"I've been so poorly that I have been out of the loop," he said.

"I came off set that day and then went to hospital, that was it.

"I don't know how Derren (creator Derren Litten) wrote me out. I'm going to have to wait and see it like viewers."

"I feel very bad though, for causing him such a headache with all those re‐writes," he added.

Healy is now on the mend after a tough few months, but said his illness has taken its toll physically.

"I lost about three stone, which is good but I wouldn't recommend losing it the way I did!" he said.

"I've put a stone back on, but where I was a pit bull terrier, I'm now a sparrow! I'm a lightweight now.

"I'm still very weak, the problem is that when you're in hospital for a length of time, just lying in a bed, then you lose your muscle."

He continued: "Mentally I'm absolutely fine, I feel sharp, but it's my body that's taking time to catch up. The doctors say it's going to take me at least a year to get myself back to full strength."

Healy, probably best known for playing Dennis in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, no longer smokes as a result of his illness, and said he has also gone off alcohol.

"I used to love my beers, but it doesn't matter what I try now, it tastes awful," he said.

"So basically I'm saving a fortune because I don't smoke and I don't drink any more. I don't miss it, to be honest with you, so some good has come out of all this."

:: The ninth series of Benidorm starts on ITV on Wednesday March 1 at 9pm.

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