UPDATE: ITV have released a statement in which they say that Tim Healy is feeling “much better” following his spell in a Spanish hospital with an undisclosed illness.
An ITV spokesman said: “Tim is feeling much better after his spell in hospital and all the Benidorm cast and crew wish him a healthy recovery in his own time.
“Filming schedules have been adjusted to accommodate Tim’s absence on screen, the show is currently mid-way through filming the new series which will air (in) 2017.”
WELL-LOVED British actor Tim Healy has been airlifted to a Manchester hospital after being struck by a mystery affliction while filming the latest series of the hit sitcom Benidorm.
He apparently fell ill around a month ago, and has been under the care of Spanish medics, but has now been flown home after his condition stablilised.
The 64-year-old Geordie star of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Still Open All Hours and Coronation Street is said to have been fighting for his life at one stage, and his ex-wife, Loose Women panelist Denise Welch, is believed to have visited him in Spain.
The couple split in 2012 after 24 years of marriage, with Denise making a teary announcement on live television, and they have two sons together.
ITV sources have said that filming schedules for the show’s ninth series have been rearranged to deal with Tim’s absence from the set, and said: “Everyone on Benidorm, both cast and crew, just wants him to rest up and recover well in his own time.”
The series follows daily life at a fictional hotel, with Tim having played transvestite Les/Lesley since 2010, and this is the second time that he has been taken ill during filming.
He was admitted to hospital in 2010 for emergency surgery after he was diagnosed with the condition intermittent claudication, with doctors telling him to quit smoking.