Tuesday 20 February 2018

One Foot in the Grave actor Richard Wilson 'in hospital after heart attack'

Richard Wilson
Richard Wilson

Chris Graham

Richard Wilson, the actor best known for British sitcom One Foot in the Grave, was reportedly in hospital on Thursday after suffering a heart attack. 

The Scottish actor, who is playing his famous Victor Meldrew character at a show in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon, it was reported.

The 80-year-old was in a stable condition in hospital, his agent John Grant told the Guardian.

Wilson rose to fame as the irascible pensioner Meldrew, whose catchphrase "I don't believe it" would follow the actor around as members of the public greeted him in the street. 

Despite Britain’s favourite curmudgeon dying in the final episode of One Foot in the Grave 16 years ago after a hit-and-run accident, Wilson agreed to revive the character in a one-man show derived from one of David Renwick’s best scripts from the BBC sitcom.

Last month, he revealed that the part almost went to Les Dawson after he initially turned down the role. 

"I was in my early 50s and Victor was 60. I turned it down,” Wilson told the Radio Times. “I think Les Dawson was being considered. A very funny man – but I don’t know if he could have played Victor."

Despite admitting weariness of the catchphrase being frequently quoted to him, Wilson insists he still likes the character.

“I’ve always loved Victor, in a sense,” he told the Telegraph recently. “But when David decided to kill him, I agreed that he probably should be killed.”

Two years ago, Wilson said he was trying to "slow down", but admitted:  "I seem to be failing. And I do worry about that. I’ve got to remember how old I am. I’m so sick of doctors saying to me, ‘I’m afraid it’s your age, Mr Wilson'."

One Foot in the Grave brought Wilson household-name status late in his career. But the Greenock-born actor had been working on stage and the small screen for decades. 

A longtime campaigner for gay rights, he kept his sexuality to himself, but was publicly “outed” in a 2013 Time Out list of influential gay people


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