Ricky Gervais became convinced he was dying of everything from cancers to radiation and cyanide poisoning during his recent bout of agonising stomach illness.
The ‘After Life’ creator, 61, who has admitted to fans he’s a hypochondriac, was stricken earlier this month by vomiting and diarrhoea in the middle of the night that was so severe he told fans in a tweet on 12 May he had been hit by the “worst illness of my life”.
Graphically detailing the sickness in an online chat with fans, a filly recovered Ricky has now said: “What happened was, it was Wednesday night, about 1am, and I had a pain in my side that woke me up – like a shooting pain. It was like ‘Aaaaah – that never happens.’
“It was like, ‘Ooh, what was that?’ Then it happened again. My first thought was obviously – liver cancer, right?
“And in the middle of the night, you’re convinced – that it is, I’ve blown it, you know?
“I got another pain, and it was, ‘Oh, oh God.’ And I felt sick. And I went to throw up and couldn’t. So I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s stomach cancer.’
“And then I couldn’t be sick – there was nothing there. Then the pain of the vomiting was incredible, there was an intensity.”
Ricky, who lives in his £10.8 million north London mansion with his long-term writer partner Jane Fallon, 62, and their cat Pickle, added about suffering vomiting and diarrhoea so bad he then thought he was suffering from Covid or a form of radiation sickness: “You forget how bad vomiting is – you forget just how f****** awful. I mean, never mind the illness and thinking you’re going to die – I can’t breathe. And I think I’m going to choke. And I think I’m not going to get my breath back in between each spasm.
“The next day, when I coughed, my ribs – I thought, oh, I’ve ripped my stomach lining here.’
“All this is happening in my head. That happened a few times, and I started sweating, and cold sweating. And I thought, ‘What is this.’ Then I thought, ‘Ah – coronavirus.’ I’ve had it before.
“I caught it off one of my nieces, or great nieces, one Christmas. Everyone was ill.
“And again, that happened in the middle of the night, and I thought, ‘Oh, Jesus.’
“That didn’t stop me thinking at one point it might have been radiation sickness.
“I just thought, ‘Well, it could be – you never know’. Someone might have been walking behind me with a bit of plutonium, once.
“But anyway, I was pretty sure after a couple of hours this was coronavirus. So I was trying to fight it then.
“And then the other end started, which is a relief really. Because I’d rather it came out that way instead of my face, you know what I mean?”
Ricky then joked he thought he was suffering cyanide poisoning, adding: “I knew cyanide poisoning causes reverse peristalsis, from the bowel, so you are vomiting your own s***. So I thought it was cyanide!”
Ricky said he was recovered by around 8pm the night the illness struck, and joked he then felt fit enough to “face a beer”.