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Stephen Fry says he feels ‘self conscious’ going out without walking stick


By PA News

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Stephen Fry has said he feels “self conscious” going out without his walking stick which he has been using since his recovery from a fall in September.

The 66-year-old actor, comedian and presenter fell off a stage following a lecture at the O2 arena and was subsequently taken to hospital.

Fry told Claudia Winkleman on her BBC Radio 2 programme that he is “now without a stick” following the accident, in which he broke multiple bones.

Comedian Stephen Fry outside BBC Broadcasting House in London (Lucy North/PA)
Comedian Stephen Fry outside BBC Broadcasting House in London (Lucy North/PA)

Speaking about the fall, he said: “I did my bow after delivering this lecture, turned to go off stage and didn’t realise that I was walking off a part of the stage where there was nothing.

“Six foot drop onto concrete.

“So I broke my right leg in a couple of places and my hip and my pelvis in four places and a bunch of ribs.

“I am now fine. I’m now without a stick, like Lazarus, I have cast aside my crutches and stick.”

Speaking on what it has been like to use a walking stick, Fry said: “More than helping you walk and being some support, (it) is a flag to everyone around.

“And I live in central London where, as you know, the pavements are absolutely packed, so people suddenly stop to take a picture of the lights and you get very nervous about bumping into people when it’s slidy and slippy, with a wet leaf on the pavement…

“Actually it’s been fine so far, but I kind of feel a bit self-conscious without the stick.”

Fry spoke about the treatment he received while he was in hospital and said a surgeon told him that if he did not take the painkillers he was prescribed he would be recovering for “months and months.”

Stephen Fry and husband Elliott Spencer arrive to attend the wedding for the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (Adrian Dennis/PA)
Stephen Fry and husband Elliott Spencer arrive to attend the wedding for the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (Adrian Dennis/PA)

According to the former QI host, the surgeon said: “‘For six or seven weeks you’ll lie without being able to move and what will happen to your muscles… they’ll be atrophied, and your recovery will be months and months and months.'”

Fry thanked the NHS on the radio show and said that the health service is “extraordinary”.

The actor was in conversation with TV presenter Winkleman, who announced earlier in the month that she will be stepping down from hosting her Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show next year.

In February, Fry added his voice to public ownership campaign group We Own It, who have criticised outsourcing in the NHS.

The comedian and presenter, who used to present BBC comedy show QI and has acted in dystopian film V For Vendetta and period dramas Gosford Park and Wilde, said in a video released by the group’s Twitter page: “We own it. It’s ours. The NHS belongs to us.”

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