Belfast Telegraph

O'Grady back on TV after hospital

TV star Paul O'Grady returned to screens and made light of his health scare by heading to the studio on a stair lift in the care of a nurse.

The 58-year-old comic, who has suffered from two heart attacks in the past, was admitted to hospital a week ago after feeling unwell and stand-in presenters have taken his place on his afternoon ITV show.

He apologised to viewers for his week off as he came back to the show, and thanked his replacements including Michael Ball who had to step in with less than an hour's notice.

"It's very nice to be back," he said. " I'm sorry about the unexpected leave of absence last week. I ended up in hozzy for a few days.

"T hank you to everyone who stepped into the breach for me. Poor old Michael Ball he only came in the building to use the lav. Twenty past four the man walked in the building, five o'clock he was plonked here like this. That's a pro for you."

He arrived on stage with his programme sidekick Joyce, who was dressed as a nurse.

"This is all I need - a chair lift and the angel of death here," he told viewers.

She joked: "I thought you was dead. I got a beautiful black coat but I kept the receipt so you're all right, I can take it back."

Paul - who also hosts a Sunday evening Radio 2 show - had a brief spell in hospital following tests

He recently returned to host his chat show on ITV following a four-year break, but has presented programmes such as For The Love Of Dogs which was a big hit with viewers.

As well as thanking other stand-ins such as Emma Willis, Vernon Kay and Jo Brand, O'Grady thanked viewers for their sympathy and the cardiologist who had cared for him.

"My arteries are hardened slightly. I tell how hard they are, they frighten Martina Cole and her girl gangs.

"My cardiologist looked down at my naked body lying out there and he said to me 'Paul O'Grady, you have the body of a 21-year-old. A dead 21-year-old," he added.

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