Phoenix Nights's Ted Robbins 'doing well' after onstage collapse

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Ted RobbinsImage source, PA

Phoenix Nights comedian Ted Robbins is "doing well" in hospital after collapsing on stage during a show at Manchester Arena, his wife says.

The opening night performance of Phoenix Nights Live was stopped after he fell to the floor but Sunday's show is expected to go ahead.

Robbins, 59, plays Den Perry in the show, based on the Peter Kay TV series of the same name.

His wife Judy said he is in pain but will be "fit and healthy again soon".

Members of the audience were asked to leave the 20,000-capacity venue after his collapse, but Manchester Arena tweeted that the show on Sunday night will take place as planned.

In a message on Facebook, Judy Robbins wrote: "Hi Judy here. With Ted now in the hospital. He is in some pain due to bruising on his ribs from chest compressions but other than that he is doing well."

She continued: "We are so incredibly grateful for everyone's support and we would love more than anything to find out who the doctor was out of the audience who have such fantastic treatment."

"Thanks for all your lovely messages, it's very touching to know he is so loved. He will be fit and healthy again soon. God bless all the NHS staff that are doing such a fantastic job."

Robbins' sister Kate, an actress who was one of several family members at the show, tweeted: "Thank you for all your good wishes and concern. He's a fighter."

'Stunned silence'

A Manchester Arena spokeswoman said the performance had been stopped "so we could get Ted the help he needed" and described him as being in a stable condition."

BBC journalist Ian Shoesmith was in the third row of the arena when Robbins collapsed shortly after the beginning of the second act, when he was performing on stage alone.

He said: "Everyone initially thought it was part of the act, but then my wife said: 'No, this is real, this is serious.'

"They brought the curtain down and then someone said everyone had to leave the building as there was an emergency going on. There was just a stunned silence."

Image caption,
Ted Robbins has also starred in children's talent show The Slammer

Comedian John Bishop, who was also in the audience, tweeted: "Travelling home from Manchester with all of my thoughts and love with Ted Robbins, his family and the rest of The Phoenix Nights cast."

And fellow comic Jason Manford tweeted: "#PhoenixNightsLive was wonderful before it had to suddenly stop. Thoughts are with the legendary Ted Robbins & his family. Get well soon pal."

North West Ambulance Service said it was called to the Manchester Arena at 21:46 GMT to a male who had collapsed and that he was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Robbins played Den Perry, the rival of Kay's character, Brian Potter in the Phoenix Nights show, in 2001 and 2002.

Saturday night's performance was the first of 15 planned shows which saw the original cast of the programme reunited. Profits from the event are going to Comic Relief.

Robbins has also appeared in Brookside, Doctors, Holby City, Little Britain and Coronation Street. He is currently playing Barry Quid in the revival of Birds of a Feather and The Governor in CBBC programme The Slammer.

He presents a weekly show on BBC Radio Lancashire.