Phoenix Nights star Ted Robbins ‘doing well’

Ted Robbins had heart problems from a childhood illness. Picture: PATed Robbins had heart problems from a childhood illness. Picture: PA
Ted Robbins had heart problems from a childhood illness. Picture: PA
Comic actor Ted Robbins is “doing well” in hospital and will be “fit and healthy soon” after his collapse on stage during a live show, his wife said yesterday.

Robbins, 59, slumped to the floor on the opening night of a revival of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights at the Manchester Arena on Saturday. The curtain was closed immediately as staff rushed to the stage with medical equipment before the show was cancelled.

In a message on his Facebook page, Robbins’ wife, Judy, said he was in some pain but doing well in hospital. She praised his NHS treatment and appealed for help in tracing a doctor in the audience who went to his aid.

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She said: “He is in some pain due to bruising on his ribs from chest compressions, but other than that he is doing well.

“Ted had rheumatic fever when he was a child which left him with some heart damage so we have always been aware that he would need a routine procedure to correct.

“We are so incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and we would love more than anything to find out who the doctor was out of the audience who [gave] such fantastic treatment.”

She also thanked fans for their messages of support, adding: “He will be fit and healthy again soon. God bless all the NHS staff that are doing such a fantastic job.”

Phoenix Nights co-star Paddy McGuinness said last night’s show would go ahead, joking: “If we didn’t, Ted would kick our arses. Lots of love for the big man. The Phoenix will rise again!”

Liverpool-born Robbins plays Den Perry in the show, which is based on comedian Peter Kay’s television series of the same name. Kay has revived the characters from his Channel 4 series for the live show to raise money for Comic Relief.

On Twitter, audience members expressed their shock at Robbins’ collapse. Dave Swanton wrote: “Thoughts are with my mate Ted Robbins taken ill during the opening night of Phoenix Nights. Get well soon pal”.

Steve Ens said: “Truly hope Ted Robbins is ok … Just watched him collapse on stage at the Phoenix Nights show. Best wishes to him & fellow cast members.”

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Robbins was reprising his role as the main “villain” Den Perry in the TV programme, which ran from 2001 and 2002. In it, he famously burned down the Phoenix club.

The actor, who is a second cousin of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has also appeared in Brookside, Doctors, Holby City, Little Britain and Coronation Street.

He is currently playing Barry Quid in the 2014 revival of Birds Of A Feather and heads the fictitious prison as the governor in CBBC programme The Slammer.

He was the voice of TV show Catchphrase between 1994 and 1999 and also presents a morning show on BBC Radio Lancashire.

Comedian John Bishop spoke of his shock at Robbins’ collapse, tweeting: “Travelling home from Manchester with all of my thoughts and love with Ted Robbins, his family and the rest of the Phoenix Nights cast.”