Ricky Tomlinson talks being ‘at risk’ in health admission: ‘Makes me very susceptible’

In line with the Government’s orders, Royle family star Ricky Tomlinson, 80, has been in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actor insisted he has been extra cautious due to his age and previous health problems.

Ricky acknowledged he is in the “risk group” amid the coronavirus outbreak as he praised the NHS for helping him on various occasions.

He told Radio Times: “Without the NHS, I’d be dead. I’ve had open heart surgery, I’ve had asthma all my life, I’ve had both my eyes operated on and cataracts removed.

“I owe them my life. But I’m on medication and that makes me very susceptible.

“Still, at least one good thing has come out of this,” he added as he joked he won’t be having more children with his wife Rita Cumiskey.


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Ricky has opened up about his various health problems in the past. 

The former Brookside star underwent a quadruple heart bypass in 2012 and also developed a skin disease called nodular prurigo.

Following his recovery, he said he was a “lucky man” to have received a lot of support throughout his ordeal.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “I have been given a new lease of life, a second chance – and I am going to use it.”

Last year, he revealed he was in a happier place after ditching alcohol for a cup of tea at home instead.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “Maybe I’m getting old or maybe I’m getting wiser, I don’t know.

“I used to like a pint and chat, and I still love a natter with friends, but now I have a cup of tea instead.

“It’s so much better having a clear head and it’s great to be alive and well.

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“I have had one or two shandies but I haven’t touched a drop of the sauce for nearly 18 months now.”

In the same interview, the actor said he had also found a new love for painting and even referred to himself as “Ricasso”.

Elsewhere, ahead of the pandemic, Ricky reunited with his Royle Family co-star Ralf Little for their new six-part series Ricky and Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip.

Read the full interview in Radio Times out now [RADIOTIMES]

Viewers will see the two men drive a campervan from the Scottish border down to Manchester and onto the Midlands.

The pair will also make trips to Ricky’s birthplace Blackpool and his hometown in Liverpool.

Their latest TV project is their first together since the final Royle Family Christmas special in 2012.

The new series kicks off on Monday 11 May on Channel Gold at 8pm.

Read the full interview in Radio Times out now.

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