Strictly 2021: Robert Webb on his open heart surgery near death

Robert was forced to drop out of the competition (Photo: PA)

Robert Webb was told his heart was going to fail unless he had open heart surgery two years ago.

The Peep Show star dropped out of Strictly Come Dancing due to health concerns from his heart surgery in late 2019.

The 49-year-old said: “I am extremely sorry to have to announce that I am withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to poor health.

“Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I thought I was fit enough to face Strictly and her demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bit more than I could. chew for this stage of my recovery.

“I had started to experience symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my cardiologist, and she felt that it would be better for my health to take a step back from the show.”

Webb had discussed his near-death experience in April 2020 in an interview with Sunday Times, revealing that months earlier he had undergone surgery after doctors discovered he was suffering from a congenital heart murmur.

The comedian was filming the second series of Back with his comedy partner David Mitchell in October 2019 when a doctor told him he was having a heart murmur during a routine medical exam.

Andrew (Robert Webb) & Stephen (David Mitchell)

Robert was filming Back when he found out he was having a heart murmur (Photo: Channel 4)

Two days later, a cardiologist told Webb his heart would fail if he didn’t have urgent surgery for mitral valve prolapse and that he was “literally walking around trying not to have a heart attack.” for the next three weeks.

His operation was scheduled for November 1 and although the hospital tried to delay the operation due to a problem with the intensive care unit, the cardiologist told the surgeon: “You cannot send him home. him for five days, he’s not going to last two days. ‘

Webb said the operation was “a little touch and go” as he lost two-thirds of his blood cells.

Prior to his diagnosis, Webb had attributed his fatigue to his alcohol and tobacco use, telling the publication, “I guess it’s alcohol. I thought that’s how you feel when you’re 47. and you treat your body like a dumpster. I got tired really really quickly – I was very tired – but I thought to myself, fuck I’m 47. I didn’t realize how sick I was . I had no idea.’

Webb has since been recovering and restoring his health, and has been a surprise signing for the cast of Strictly 2021.


Robert webb
Robert had to do three dances (Photo: PA)

However, it seems it was a bit too early for the father of two to join in on such a physically demanding show.

Webb, who was in partnership with Dianne Buswell, said of her time on Strictly: “I’m proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret letting it go like this. I couldn’t have asked for a more talented partner or a more patient teacher, and it is a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I have been able to go as far as I have.

“Thank you also to everyone who voted for us at home. It was always going to be a tough mountain to climb (on the one hand it’s made of glitter so it’s very slippery) and I was particularly touched by the support from other heart patients. I think maybe I was too eager to impress them.

“They will know that recovery doesn’t always come in a straight line, and I hope they aren’t too disappointed that I reached the limits of my resilience much sooner than I had hoped.

“I leave knowing that Strictly viewers are in good hands and I will be cheering on my competing siblings until Christmas.” Despite this sad ending, it was a true honor to be a part of this huge, happy, barking-mad TV show. May this continue for a long time.

Webb has performed three times on Strictly – doing a cha cha at Rasputin by Boney M, a Tango at La Cumparsita by Machiko Ozawa, and a week of quickstep cinema at The Muppets Theme Song.

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