Andrew Marr's wife was told to expect the worst when he was rushed to hospital after his stroke, the journalist has revealed.
Six months ago the veteran newsman underwent life-saving treatment after becoming ill following an intensive workout on a rowing machine in his shed.
The broadcaster, who previously took out a super-injunction to prevent the reporting of an extra-marital affair, almost died and his doting wife, Jackie Ashley, was told to the expect the worst. Marr paid tribute to her, saying she saved his life.
He told the Daily Mail that doctors at London's Charing Cross Hospital decided to treat him with drugs because operating was too dangerous.
He said: "I wouldn't know this until later, but Jackie was twice given the clear impression I was a goner. If I was very lucky, I would be a vegetable, unable to move, see, hear or speak."
The terrifying episode has resulted in Marr and his wife becoming even closer - with her watching over him as he falls asleep, and as he wakes.
He told the newspaper: "Jackie saved my life. Without her, I wouldn't be here. It's partly because she fought for me; she was my tireless advocate in the hospital to get the right treatment.
"Jackie was very strongly affected by what happened to me. In many ways, it was much more of a shock for her than it was for me since I hadn't realised how close I was to dying. She was very brave and very sensitive in not telling me everything until I was stronger. And then she really carried me... the whole experience has brought us more closely together."
The journalist had been overworking and doing too much before his stroke, he said. He thinks years of relentless work and putting pressure on himself took their toll.
He said: "I was trying to do all the physical things I could do when I was 20 years younger - refusing to accept I was now 53 years old."