Star Wars legend: My brush with death

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Star Wars favourite Kenny Baker has told the Lancashire Evening Post in an exclusive video interview of his terrifying brush with death.

Asthma sufferer Kenny, who played R2-D2 in all six Star Wars films, is recovering in a Manchester hospital after falling ill on a flight from America last week.

The 3ft 8in-tall actor who lives in Ashton, Preston, said: "I was pretty ill. I'm getting worse and worse with my breathing. I'm 73 but I feel 53 and I want to keep going. But you get older and you don't realise."

The grandfather-of-six had travelled to Pittsburgh via Chicago for a two week working holiday, including a Star Wars convention, and was on his way back to Manchester when he was taken ill.

He said: "I felt fine on the plane, but then I passed out somewhere near Ireland – not that far away, otherwise I wouldn't have lasted.

"My girlfriend, Valerie, thought I was dying so she told everybody and they were trying to bring me round but couldn't.

"The paramedics picked me up at the plane but they couldn't bring me round either. They brought me in here and they've got a magic oxygen machine which brought me round.

"It's the thing that saved me. The oxygen levels (in my lungs) are too high and the levels in my blood are too low, so they're trying to balance it."

Kenny thinks it was an increase in oxygen levels on the plane that caused him to pass out.

He said: "I was in here for quite a while when I came round. I didn't know what day it was and I didn't know where I was."

His son Kevin, 35, said the family was told to expect the worst as he was expected to die in his sleep.

Kenny, who has enjoyed going to Star Wars conventions all over the world, says it is unlikely he will travel beyond Europe after his scare.

But he reassured and thanked his fans for their support and added: "I feel fine now.

"I've got a new Westie called Trixie. I'm going to get home, take the dog for a walk on Ashton Park and take it easy."

>> Star Wars legend Kenny 'nearly died'

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