CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Actor Richard Wilson in search for hero doctor who helped save his life

Victor Meldrew star tells BBC about his recovery from a heart attack

20 April, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Richard Wilson, with Paul Merton, filming One Foot In The Grave at a pub in Camden Town

FOR a terrifying moment, it was feared one of the nation’s favourite actors really did have one foot in the grave.

But Richard Wilson has told how he lived to see another day after suffering a heart attack in a Hampstead bakery thanks to the intervention of a passing doctor. Now the 80-year-old, famous for playing one of television’s most enduring characters as grumpy pensioner Victor Meldrew, wants to find the medic who saved him after explaining how he could not remember the incident last August.

Mr Wilson said: “I was meeting the writer Robert Holman in Hampstead – and I had a heart attack and fell off the balcony at Maison Blanc. I don’t remember a thing about it. The great thing about the accident – and I mention it because I’d love to know who it was – is that there was a doctor walking by and if he hadn’t been walking by, I wouldn’t be here now. I’d love to know who he was.”

The actor was opening up about the incident in an interview with Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday lunchtime. He revealed how he was taken to intensive care at the Royal Free but is now back working and is due to appear in Alan Bennett’s play Forty Years On in Chichester, which opens tomorrow (Friday).

Before the heart attack, Mr Wilson, who has lived for many years in Hampstead and helped out on Labour MP Tulip Siddiq’s campaign at the 2015 general election, had been planning to reprise the role of Meldrew for a stage show called I Don’t Believe It at the Edinburgh comedy festival.

The run was cancelled but he said he hopes to bring the show back in the future.

Scenes from the final episode of One Foot In The Grave, which ran for 10 years from 1990 and twice earned Mr Wilson a Bafta, were shot at the Golden Lion pub in Camden Town

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