Angela Rippon has announced she will return to the Strictly Come Dancing tour after she suffered a “serious asthma attack” which caused her to stop breathing.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, the 79-year-old veteran broadcaster said she had been dancing on stage in Liverpool on Wednesday night when she suffered the “major medical meltdown”.
After receiving treatment from paramedics on site, she explained that she could breath again but was prescribed two days of bed rest by the doctor, causing her to miss shows in Leeds.
Rippon confirmed she feels “dancing fit” again and will perform on Saturday night at Manchester’s AO Arena with her dance partner Kai Widdrington.
In a video post to social media, Rippon said: “Hello everyone, I’m afraid I’ve been off the grid for a couple of days because, as some of you may know, I suffered a major medical meltdown at the beginning of the week.
“When we were in Liverpool I managed to pick up an infection which went straight to my chest. It affected my breathing very badly and, as some of you may know, I do suffer from asthma.
“And on Wednesday evening, when I was about to go on and dance the Cha Cha Cha, I’m afraid the infection triggered a serious asthma attack and when I started to dance, I stopped breathing basically.
“Which was all a bit scary, not just for me, but for Kai as well because I was a bit like a rag doll on the dance floor – sorry Liverpool.
“And I think Kai wasn’t really quite sure what was happening but, fortunately, we always had paramedics in the arenas when we perform and when I came off they gave me oxygen so I was able to breathe again, and also make the trip to Leeds.”
She explained that once she got to Leeds, the company doctor told her the infection was “a lot worse” than she had first thought and requested she rest and prescribed “a very impressive regime of medication”.
Following the treatment, she is back on her feet, adding: “I can’t say I’m fighting fit, but I’m certainly dancing fit so I’m ready to start ripping up the dance floor again on the tour, starting right here tonight in Manchester.”
The broadcaster also thanked everyone who sent her “wonderful messages”, noting that she feels the support and medication have “worked their magic”.
During Strictly last year, Rippon impressed viewers with her flexibility and made it all the week to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom special before being eliminated following a dance-off with actor Bobby Brazier.
The tour opened at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena on January 19 before moving to Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool and Leeds.
Two shows are scheduled for Manchester’s AO Arena on Saturday and Sunday before it moves on to Nottingham for three shows – with a final five in London’s O2 Arena.
Also performing are Strictly Come Dancing winner Ellie Leach and her partner partner Vito Coppola as well as finalists Layton Williams and Brazier.
News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Irish TV presenter Angela Scanlon and former tennis star Annabel Croft are also among the line-up.
At the end of each show, the audience will vote to decide who wins the coveted glitterball trophy.