The Fortune Hotel star Stephen Mangan’s ‘terrifying’ scare after his parents died young

Stephen Mangan
Stephen Mangan is the host of ITV's The Fortune Hotel -Credit:ITV

The Fortune Hotel star Stephen Mangan has opened up about the “terrifying” health scare he experienced following the death of his parents.

Stephen, who is known for appearing in shows including The Split, has most recently turned his attention to TV presenting as the new host of The Fortune Hotel. Launching on ITV, the show will see 10 pairs battle it out to attempt to win the £250,000 jackpot.

But away from The Fortune Hotel, Stephen has previously discussed the effect that his parent’s deaths had on him, after his mother passed away at the age of 45 and his dad at 63.

Stephen Mangan
Stephen has opened up about the heartbreaking death of his parents -Credit:Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

In 1991, Stephen’s mum sadly died of colon cancer just six months after being diagnosed. “It had a huge impact on me. You start to think, ‘Is that something in our family? Is that going to be my story? What’s going to happen to me?’ That can be terrifying,” he told the Daily Express in 2022.

As a result of his mum’s death, the actor now has colonoscopies every five years. “If you have parents who died young, because there’s a chance that it’s hereditary, every five years the NHS, not to put too fine a point on it, shoves a camera up my backside,” he added.

Following his mum’s passing, Stephen swapped his law degree for the world of acting after her death made him realise how “fragile” life is, spurring him on to achieve his dreams.

Stephen Mangan
Stephen says he realised how "fragile" life was following his mother's death -Credit:Dave Benett/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA

“I left university in May or June and my mum got ill in early September. I'd gotten this law degree, but I wasn't intending to be a lawyer,” he told Kate Thornton on her White Wine Question Time podcast.

He continued: “Mum died six months later and when you watch your mum go from an incredibly healthy, active 45-year-old and watch her decline in six months and then die, it's a profound and very, very vivid demonstration of how fragile we are and how little time we're alive.

“I think I had my audition for [Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts] maybe a week after she died, I applied a few weeks before she passed and just thought, this is I want to do.”

Heartbreakingly, tragedy struck 14 years later when Stephen’s father was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Six months after being diagnosed, he passed away at the age of 63.

Stephen Mangan
Stephen's father died after being diagnosed with a brain tumour -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

“When Dad got ill, I just thought: ‘Really? Again?’,” The Fortune Hotel host told The Guardian in 2012.

“He died when I was in my early 30s. We were filming the second series of Green Wing in a real hospital, then I'd go to another hospital to see him. They shut down the whole production at the end so I could be with him, for which I'm incredibly grateful.”

Having become a father himself – Stephen shares three sons with Holby City actress Louise Louise Delamere – the TV star revealed the sweet way that he has paid tribute to his beloved dad.

“He has five grandsons now and me and my sisters have all used James, my dad’s name, as our sons’ middle names,” he revealed to the Metro in 2012. “He died before I married and had children. It’s a source of tremendous sadness to me that my parents never got to meet my children.”