Benidorm star Tim Healy was struck down by a mystery illness and briefly ‘died’ while filming the sitcom in Spain, the show’s writer has revealed.
Writer Derren Litten said that the 65-year-old actor, who plays popular character drag queen Lesley, was filming the show on location in Benidorm when he fell seriously ill and had to go to hospital.
‘They operated on Tim and it didn’t go well at all,’ Derren told radio channel Cool Fm Spain.
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‘He died. He flat lined’: Benidorm actor Tim Healy (here in 2013) was struck down by a mystery illness while filming the show in Spain and briefly died, the sitcom’s writer Derren Litten has revealed
Derren revealed that the star briefly died in the hospital.
‘He died. He flat lined. They had to resuscitate him. He was in intensive care for a month.’
The actor’s wife Joan flew to Spain to be by his side and once his condition stabilised, Tim was flown back to a hospital in Manchester.
In character: Tim has played drag queen Lesley (right) on the ITV hit show since 2009
Derren explained: ‘He was incredibly unwell. We had shot about three episodes with Tim.
‘I got a phone call from Tim’s wife, Joan, at the hotel and she said he was unwell, doubled up in pain and can’t move.
‘I jumped into my car and went down there. He was in a pretty bad way.’
The actor fell into a coma for days and it was reported that he was ‘fighting for his life’.
Recovery: He fell into a coma for days and spent a month in intensive care in Spain
Derren had no choice but to write his character Lesley out of series nine of the hit ITV comedy-drama series.
But now that the father-of-two has fully recovered he will be returning to the show for the 10th series.
Actress Janine Duvitski, who stars with Tim in Still Open All Hours, said that although he has lost a lot of weight, he is recovering.
‘So I saw him last week and he’s lost a lot of weight,’ she said.
‘He was really poorly. He said it’s not a good way of losing a lot of weight but he’s back working now.’
A representative for Tim Healy has been contacted by MailOnline for further information.
Tim is a stalwart of the comedy-drama series, having played his well-loved character since 2009.
Previously best known for his part in television series Auf Wiedersehen, Tim was taken on as a regular in the fourth series of Benidorm in 2011.
On the mend: The actor was flown to a hospital in Manchester when his condition stabilised and although he has lost a lot of weight, he has now recovered from the mystery illness