Angela Rippon ‘stopped breathing’ after asthma attack on Strictly tour

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Angela Rippon said the incident was “scary”
By Noor Nanji
Culture reporter

Angela Rippon has said she suffered a “serious asthma attack” causing her to stop breathing while on stage during the Strictly Come Dancing live tour.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, the presenter, 79, said she had the “major medical meltdown” while dancing in Liverpool on Wednesday.

She said she received treatment from paramedics on site and had to miss shows in Leeds to rest.

Rippon confirmed she felt “dancing fit” again and was back on the tour.

She performed on Saturday at Manchester’s AO Arena with her dance partner Kai Widdrington.

In her video post, Rippon explained to fans that she had been “off the grid for a couple of days” due to the medical incident earlier this week.

She said she had picked up an infection in Liverpool which “went straight to my chest”, adding it had “badly” affected her breathing.

“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.”

The Strictly live tour began in mid-January

Rippon said that fortunately, paramedics were on hand and gave her oxygen when she came off stage, so she was able to breathe again.

The tour then moved to Leeds, where Rippon was told by a doctor that her infection was “a lot worse” than initially thought.

She was prescribed two days’ bed rest and medication, causing her to miss shows.

Now feeling better, she said: “I can’t say I’m fighting fit, but I’m certainly dancing fit so I’m ready to start ripping up the dancefloor again on the tour, starting right here tonight in Manchester.”

She also thanked everyone for their “lovely messages” of support.

The Strictly live tour confirmed that Rippon had missed two performances in Leeds and had returned to the tour on Saturday.

Rippon became the series’ oldest contestant when she came on board last year, after Johnny Ball took part in 2012 aged 74.

She made it through to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom special before being eliminated.

At the start of the Strictly Come Dancing live tour, Rippon said she was looking forward to a “whole new adventure in my professional life”.

The show kicked off last month at the Birmingham Utilita Arena before moving to Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds, among other places.

Rippon, who presents Rip-Off Britain, was the first female journalist to permanently present the BBC national television news, and was also one of the presenters of the BBC’s original Come Dancing series.

She hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977, presented the ITV breakfast show TV-am and famously appeared in a dancing sketch with comedy duo Morecambe and Wise.

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