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Inside Robert Webb’s terrifying health battle – emergency op to heart failure fears

British comedy legend Robert Webb is taking to the dance floor as he stars in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 48-year-old comedian is partnered with Dianne Buswell and has spoken of his excitement about joining the series.

But his place on the BBC dancing show comes only two years after he had to undergo open-heart surgery when doctors discovered he was suffering from a serious heart condition.

Robert was taking part in a routine medical test in 2019 for his Channel 4 sitcom Back, when he discovered he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.



Robert had to undergo emergency heart surgery
Robert had to undergo emergency heart surgery

The Peep Show star said he had “no idea” how unwell he was and was shocked when doctors told hims that his heart would fail in the next to two to four to six months.

He had to undergo emergency surgery to fix his mitral valve and was signed off work for three and a half months.

In the run up to heart surgery Robert says he was “literally just walking around trying not to have a heart attack”.



Doctors warned Robert that his life was at risk
Doctors warned Robert that his life was at risk

On the morning of his operation, there was a problem with the intensive care unit and the hospital tried to delay surgery until the cardiologist told the surgeon: “You can’t send him home for five days, he isn’t going to last two days.”

His comedy partner and pal David Mitchell admitted that he wished he could undergo the surgery in his place.



Robert is appearing on the next series of Strictly
Robert is appearing on the next series of Strictly

The duo have been close friends since meeting at Cambridge University and have starred together in a number of TV hits.

Mitchell told The Mirror: “In all honesty I thought, ‘If only it could have been me’.”

He went on: “When they make you have medicals for TV shows you think they don’t check anything – this guy saved Rob’s life.”



Robert's comedy partner is David Mitchell
Robert’s comedy partner is David Mitchell

“I was very worried about him. He had open-heart surgery two weeks later.

“We stopped filming and started again when he recovered from the operation.”

Since the operation, Robert has stopped smoking and heavy boozing and said the experience has changed his outlook on life.

“The first thing you want to do is start taking it for granted again,” he explained.



He said that the experience has changed him
He said that the experience has changed him

“On the other hand, I certainly felt that my own death is now not this very, very mysterious or foreign thing any more. It’ll be a day like this.

“And I’ll be wearing clothes like this, and I’ll get out of a bed like the bed I got out of this morning. I’ve got the shape of it.

“I can weigh its dimensions. And I feel more chilled out about it because I think I can see it. I’m more relaxed, and it’s a relief.”

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Inside Robert Webb's terrifying health battle - emergency op to heart failure fears
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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