Actor Ted Robbins has collapsed on stage during the opening night of a revival of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights live show.
Robbins, who played the villainous Den Perry in the Channel 4 comedy, was in the middle of a solo section at the Manchester Arena on Saturday when he clutched his chest, stumbled and fell to the ground.
The curtain was closed immediately as staff rushed to the stage with medical equipment and the performance was cancelled.
His co-star Toby Foster, who was playing his Phoenix Nights character Les, addressed the audience: “We are very sorry. This is not part of the show. I’m afraid we’re going to have to postpone the show tonight as obviously we have more important things to do.”
Robbins was taken to Wyhenshawe hospital where he is reported to be in a stable condition.
The 59-year-old, who is a second cousin of ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, had been participating in Kay’s Phoenix Nights revival featuring characters from the Channel 4 series as a Comic Relief fundraiser. It had been due to run for another 14 nights.
Audience members took to Twitter to express their shock.
Journalist Tom Peck said: “Horrible atmosphere at phones4u arena. Sold out for Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. Show cancelled as actor Ted Robbins collapses on stage.”
Dave Swanton wrote: “Thoughts are with my mate Ted Robbins taken ill during the opening night of Phoenix Nights. Get well soon pal.”
His sister Kate Robbins tweeted: “My brother Ted was taken ill on stage. He’s been taken to a local hospital. Thank you for all your good wishes and concern. He’s a fighter.”
Presenter Eamonn Holmes was among a number of stars expressing their shock and wishing Robbins a speedy recovery. He wrote:
— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) January 31, 2015
Nicky Campbell wrote:
Wishing the amazing Ted Robbins speedy recovery. Taken to hospital last night as Phoenix Nights show halted. He's a one off. @KateRobbins
— Nicky Campbell (@NickyAACampbell) February 1, 2015
Rory Bremner said:
Thinking of the irrepressible Ted Robbins tonight. Hang in there Ted. Love to you and the family & @KateRobbins
— Rory Bremner (@rorybremner) February 1, 2015
Sherlock and Doctor Who star Mark Gatiss wrote:
Sending all love and hopes for a speedy recovery to the great Ted Robbins.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) January 31, 2015
Robbins’ character Den Perry was the chief villain in Phoenix Nights where his character notoriously burned down the Phoenix club.
He played Barry Quid in the ITV revival of Birds Of A Feather and he is also a regular in the CBBC programme The Slammer as the prison governor.
He was the voice of TV show Catchphrase between 1994 and 1999 and also presents a morning show on BBC Radio Lancashire.