Brendan O’Carroll has opened up about how an appearance on The Late Late Show saved his life.
The 64-year-old was appearing on the St. Patrick’s Day London special of the chat show in October 2018 when a medical specialist spotted he was breathlessly talking to Ryan Tubridy.
FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne was watching in the team hotel and noticed O’Carroll was struggling with his answers.
Speaking to The Irish Sun, the Mrs Brown’s Boys star said: “I remember feeling breathless for some reason. I’d sneaked out for a smoke before the interview and they’d said, ‘Come back quick, you’re on’.
I felt breathless at the time but this was really bad and Dr Alan Byrne who was watching it on TV really noticed
Shortly after, the comedian went into hospital to have his leg examined, this is when Dr Byrne decided to carry out tests on his heart instead.
Within days, Brendan was being operated on at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital where surgeons discovered one of his arteries was 99% blocked and he was mere weeks away from heart failure.
“I would have had a heart attack only they put a stent in immediately.”
When asked if it was the pressure of his job that led to the issues, Brendan admitted it was his smoking that caused his scare.
However, when asked if he was going to give them up, he said: “No, f**k no. I tried vaping but (no).”
Brendan's wife, Jenny added: “He is doing his best. And he has since got the surgery on both legs done and has since then, we are working with the surgeon and he is trying to cut down.
“There’s no point him sitting there and telling the surgeon he’s not going to smoke, he’s a smoker.
“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs, he smokes and that’s what he does. So he said ‘I’ll do my best’.”
Brendan O’Carroll has since launched Mrs. Brown’s Boys FAI Heart Care Programme to screen adults for heart issues and Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, under the guidance of Dr Byrne.