Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Tarrant tells of stroke terror

Chris Tarrant suffered a stroke while on a flight
Chris Tarrant suffered a stroke while on a flight

Television presenter Chris Tarrant feared he was going to die when he suffered a stroke during a passenger flight, he said.

The former Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host suffered a minor stroke on a flight back to London from Bangkok in March and was taken to London's Charing Cross Hospital after it landed.

He told the Sun on Sunday it was the "most terrifying moment of my life" and he tried to call partner Jane Bird to tell her he loved her.

He told the paper: "I got very panicky. I was very alone up there, thinking, 'I could die'.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to fade away completely on my own.

"I am incredibly lucky to be alive because one in three people who have strokes don't make it.

"It has made me appreciate my life so much more."

Chris, 67, told the paper he still has not regained full control of his movements or speech two months on but he has been undergoing physiotherapy and has made changes to his lifestyle to minimise the risk of it happening again.

He had been filming in Asia and South America before falling ill during the March 1 flight.

He collapsed at Heathrow after the long-haul flight, where a mystery couple who had been on the plane from Thailand called an ambulance.

He told the Sun doctors performed surgery and found a blood clot in his leg which caused the stroke.

He bowed out from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in February after a decade and a half during which the quiz show became one of the most successful programmes in the world, inspiring spin-off games and Danny Boyle's hit film Slumdog Millionaire.

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