Brendan O’Carroll has told how he was one month away from having a heart attack - until a chat show appearance saved his life.
The Mrs Brown’s Boys creator and star appeared on ITV’s Lorraine on Monday morning where he opened up about the health scare that he’d been through this year, saying a doctor had spotted a problem with his heart by chance while watching him on TV.
Chatting alongside his wife and co-star Jennifer Gibney, he said: “I had no idea, I just thought I was a bit breathless.”
He explained that he had thought there was a problem with his leg, but couldn’t get an appointment with his usual doctor and by lucky chance happened to call a heart specialist who he’d worked with on a Football Association of Ireland campaign to train players and referees about conditions leading to sudden deaths on the pitch.
O’Carroll said he was immediately rushed in for tests, laughing: “The doctor comes out and he looks like he’s 12. I now know he’s a genius.”
Gibney, obviously shaken up about her husband’s close call, added: “It was like something out of ER where he walks in, takes off his mask, and the next words out of his mouth are going to be ‘we did everything we could’.
“We found out that one of the arteries was 99% blocked, but he cleared it so he said he was about a month away from a heart attack.”
O’Carroll joked that he had asked about the problem with his leg, with the doctor replying “I don’t do legs”, and asked why he’d been accepted for an appointment.
He went on: “He said he’d seen me on The Late Late Show about five weeks previously and he said I was gasping for my breath.”
Mrs Brown’s Boys will be back for its two annual festive specials this year, but O’Carroll said he welcomed competition in the ratings.
He predicted: “Gavin and Stacey should pull in a really huge audience, but I think this year it’s going to be the Queen’s speech, I think it’s going to be the most important Queen’s speech ever, God love her.”
Talking about the Royal family’s recent controversies, he joked about his famous sitcom character: “Agnes feels sorry for her because Agnes knows exactly what she’s going through. You can’t cure it, you can’t control it, and you can’t say the other ‘C’.”