David Mitchell wished 'Strictly' star Robert Webb's heart surgery happened to him instead

(LtR) actors David Mitchell and Robert Webb pose during the MIPCOM trade show (standing for International Market of Communications Programmes) in Cannes, southern France, on October 17, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / YANN COATSALIOU        (Photo credit should read YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images)
David Mitchell wishes he could have taken on Robert Webb's heart op. (Yann Coatsaliou/AFP via Getty Images)

David Mitchell has admitted he wished that he could have had best pal Robert Webb's open heart surgery instead.

The comedians have been close friends since meeting at Cambridge University and have starred together in a number of TV hits including Peep Show, Back and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Read more: All the Strictly 2021 couples revealed

But Mitchell, 47, told how he was terrified for his friend Webb, 48, when he had to undergo open heart surgery last year after a routine medical showed up a serious condition.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Dianne Buswell, Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Robert Webb is dancing with Dianne Buswell. (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Webb, who is currently competing in Strictly Come Dancing with pro partner Dianne Buswell, was shocked to discover his heart was close to failing after medical tests for the insurers of their sitcom Back.

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

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

Robert Webb and David Mitchell were the stars of Channel 4's delightfully awkward sitcom 'Peep Show'. (Credit: Channel 4)
Robert Webb and David Mitchell were the stars of Channel 4's delightfully awkward sitcom 'Peep Show'. (Channel 4)

Webb went on to have open heart surgery just two weeks later and Mitchell said that he had been "very worried about him", but the operation was such a success that the comedian is now taking part in Strictly.

However, while Mitchell would have taken his best mate's place on the operating table, stepping into his shoes in the ballroom would be a step too far.

Read more: John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are Strictly's first all-male pairing

Admitting that he "would rather do Taskmaster", Mitchell said that he thought Strictly would be "exhausting".

He said: "If it was, like, a couple of hours’ practice on a Thursday, then the studio ­rehearsal on a Friday and then [the show] on the Saturday and they say ‘Well done’, then maybe. But instead it’s rehearsing all day, every day for the whole week and then they say, ‘That was a bit s***.’"

Webb previously won Let's Dance for Comic Relief in 2009 where he performed a Flashdance-inspired routine in a leotard.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Robert Webb?