Phoenix Nights star Ted Robbins admits it’s a good cause close to his heart – literally.
So the former Evening Post columnist is hosting a glittering ball to raise cash for the specialist hospital unit which saved his life.
Ted, 60, collapsed on stage on the opening night of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights show in Manchester in January and was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital’s cardiothoracic critical care unit.
The skill of doctors and nurses there meant the Lancashire-based comedian has already been able to return to work – he is filming a new role on Coronation Street – and is enjoying a new lease of life.
“Wythenshawe is a hospital that’s close to my heart, both literally and metaphorically,” he said. “The team on the cardiothoracic unit is absolutely fantastic and everyone I’ve come into contact with during my stay at the hospital and my subsequent visits has been brilliant.
“The ball is a great opportunity to get everyone together in one room and take some time to put the spotlight back on this amazing team and celebrate the work they do as a whole.
The team on the cardiothoracic unit is absolutely fantastic and everyone I’ve come into contact with during my stay at the hospital and my subsequent visits has been brilliant.Ted Robbins
“This place is just the best and I’m determined to give something back. I don’t need to buy a lottery ticket, I don’t need anything. I’m alive and well and life’s wonderful.”
The ball will be staged at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, on Friday October 2. One of the special guests on the night will be Royle Family star Caroline Aherne.
Ted, who is back hosting a Sunday morning programme on BBC Radio Lancashire, has lost almost four stone in weight since his heart attack. He has pledged to keep himself as fit as he possibly can now to repay the gift of life that staff at Wythenshawe gave him.
“It’s only polite to keep as fit as I can be for as long as I can,” he said. “It has really changed my life. I felt jaded before, I was heavily overweight and struggling.”
Dr Julian Barker, director of the unit who is organising the ball, said: “The team on the unit does an amazing job. This is a unit which deals with very serious cases – people usually come to us when they are in real trouble.”
Tickets for the event are £60 each or £550 for a table of 10. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.