Brian Blessed thanks wellwishers after stage collapse

Brian Blessed.
Brian Blessed.

Mexborough born acting legend Brian Blessed has thanked well-wishers after he collapsed on stage with a heart problem during a theatre performance.

The 78-year-old star, known for his booming voice, fainted while performing as King Lear in Guildford earlier this week. After being given the all clear by medics, he returned to finish his performance.

The acting giant later took to social media to thank fans who had sent him get well messages.

Writing on his Facebook page he wrote: “Thank you all for your kind messages. I am well and thrilled to be playing King Lear with the amazing bunch of actors at The Guildford Shakespeare Company, really looking forward to the rest of the run. Brian. x”

The actor had just started the play at Holy Trinity Church when he fainted and fell off a raised platform.

His co-star Noel White, playing the Earl of Kent, said: “This is not part of the play,” and asked for a doctor.

Walking back on stage after 20 minutes and a cup of sweet tea, Blessed reportedly said: “I feel such an idiot and am not in the habit of doing this, but I have a little fibrillation.”

Known for his booming voice and gregarious manner, Blessed found fame in BBC TV series Z-Cars and later went on to star in Flash Gordon and Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing.

He was born the son of William Blessed, a socialist coal-miner at Hickleton Main at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.

He attended Bolton on Dearne Secondary Modern School, but was forced to leave at the age of 15 after his father suffered an industrial accident. He then spent several years working in a number of jobs, ranging from an undertaker to a plasterer’s assistant before moving into acting.