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Zoe Ball gets 'overly familiar' with Paul Whitehouse

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The pressure of taking some of Britain’s most loved sitcom characters- Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad onto the stage has truly paid off for Whitehouse, who is currently back in the show as Grandad. Yet, this was nearly not the case, ampicillin 1 gram vial as the journey to get the show to where it is now seriously damaged his health. The BBC Gone Fishing star, who has three stents in his heart, had his health concerns heightened after one-half of the comedy duo Chas and Dave, Chas Hodges sadly passed away during the writing process of the musical- causing Whitehouse to wonder if he was next.

Talking to The Sun, the 63-year-old said: “It made me ill, it almost killed me. Cabbies tell me every day it’s ‘Britain’s best loved sitcom’, so having the weight of that on my shoulders with the fear of damaging its legacy did me in.

“I did think Chas has passed, so am I going to be next? There were a lot of people looking down on us on that opening night.

“Not only Chas, but my dad died during the process and, of course, there was also John, so it was a special night for the Sullivan family. It was a really emotional journey for everybody involved.

“The Queen musical ran for years, but then Rod Stewart’s wasn’t as successful, so you never know. And Only Fools fans are very protective, so there were a lot of people thinking it might not work but we knew we had a good show.”

As well as three stents in his heart, the star has had part of his colon removed, which became aggravated whilst planning the show, leading to Whitehouse taking a prolonged break from writing partner and son of Only Fool’s original creator Jim Sullivan.

The star was in fact so poorly that he nearly missed the musical’s press night back in February 2020.

The Mayo Clinic explains that individuals may need to undergo a colectomy- a surgical procedure to remove all or part of your colon- in order to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect the organ.

There are multiple variations of the procedure, with a total colectomy removing the entire colon and a proctocolectomy removing both the colon and the rectum.

The surgery is done to protect and treat diseases and side effects such as:

  • Bleeding that cannot be controlled
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis.

Speaking about the start of his colon troubles to the Daily Mail, Whitehouse explained that his “health disaster” started in 2007.

“I was on holiday in Somerset with my daughter, just sitting watching the telly or something, when: BANG! One minute I was fine, the next I thought I’d been shot in the stomach,” Whitehouse recalled.

“It was so dramatic and powerful – the sort of indescribable pain where your first and only thought is: ‘Oh! I’m going to die!’ Just brutal.

“I knew I had to get me and my poor little girl back home, so I left the car there and got on the train with a huge suitcase. As soon as we pulled into London, I went straight to the hospital, where they decided to call the MRI operator back into work.

“It was just as well she did, because it turned out I’d had an abscess that had exploded in my colon, deep in my large intestine, and it had caused all sorts of chaos. You know the phrase ‘busting a gut’? That’s what it was. I’d literally busted a gut.”

Whitehouse soon realised how dangerous things had become as he was rushed into surgery, revealing in the interview that there was an extremely “high fatality rate” which accompanies the condition, with 40 percent of people not making it.

“Despite the horrendous pain, the vomiting and the near-constant internal examinations, it turns out I was actually one of the lucky ones. The doctor even told me a couple of times, ‘How you’re still here, I don’t know’ – which is right up there in the list of things you don’t really want to hear a medical professional say to you when you’re not well,” Whitehouse continued to say.

John Hopkins Medicine explains that a colon abscess is referred to as an intra-abdominal abscess- a collection of pus or infected fluid that is surrounded by inflamed tissue inside the belly. The condition can sometimes occur because of another condition such as diverticulitis, or because of bacterial infection.

Common symptoms that may indicate someone has an intra-abdominal abscess includes the following:

  • Fever
  • Belly pain
  • Chest pain or shoulder pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Rectal tenderness or fullness
  • Mass in the belly
  • Malnourishment.

Often abscesses need to be drained in order to heal however, like Whitehouse, some abscesses sometimes burst before this can happen. In this case, doctors often perform a procedure to repair the condition that caused the abscess in the first place, such as a colectomy.

After his surgery, doctors noticed that Whitehouse’s blood pressure remained at an extremely high level. After failing to go down, doctors brought the star back in for further tests and found that one of the arteries in his heart was only working at a 10 percent function. It was after this that he had further surgery to put three stents into his heart.

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