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Robert Webb is “absolutely fine” and “available for panto” after undergoing major heart surgery last year.
The actor, best known as the unemployed musician Jez in comedy Peep Show, discovered in 2019 that he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.
After the issue was identified during a routine medical check for the second series of his sitcom, Back, he was told he needed urgent surgery to save his life.
"What heart murmur?" 😕
The unimaginable story of how filming the second series of, 'Back' saved @arobertwebb's life! ❤️
— BBC The One Show (@BBCTheOneShow) January 21, 2021
Appearing on The One Show alongside co-star David Mitchell, the 48-year-old said he had regained normal life expectancy after undergoing open-heart surgery.
He said: “It all got quite drastic because we had just finished rehearsing and that was sort of October 2019 – a very long time ago now, all pre-pandemic – and I went for the cast medical.
Watch: Drinking alcohol can lead to heart risk
“It is normally just this very, ‘Look over there and cough, let’s not ask too many questions about your health’ kind of thing.
“And the doctor put his stethoscope on my heart. I was watching his face, as you do, and he kind of went…. which was not a good sign.
“He said, ‘What have you been doing about the heart murmur’ and I said, ‘What heart murmur?’
“A couple of days later I had a few tests and a cardiologist said, ‘You are not going to have a heart attack in the next fortnight but in the next two to six months this heart will fail’.
“He said it was not something you can fix with pills so that was a spot of open-heart surgery. So I did the first week’s filming. I don’t know why I did that, nobody asked me to.”
He added: “After I had done that for a while I realised I was just creeping around the studio just trying not to have a heart attack, and I thought maybe it would be better if I went home.
“I am absolutely fine. I have got completely normal heart function, normal life expectancy, I am available for panto.”
Filming resumed in February 2020 but was again halted after three weeks due to Covid-19, eventually wrapping in September.
Webb has since reportedly quit drinking and smoking, after a battle with alcohol addiction.
Watch: US man's 'partially artificial' heart seen beating through chest scar