Richard Bacon says he came ‘incredibly close' to dying during mystery illness

The former Blue Peter presenter fell ill on a flight from Los Angeles to London.

Richard Bacon has revealed he came “incredibly close” to death as he battled a mystery illness over the summer.

The TV presenter, 42, fell ill during a flight from Los Angeles to London last month and was put in an induced coma as doctors fought to save his life.

Bacon pulled through after two weeks of treatment and was pictured leaving University Hospital Lewisham with his wife Rebecca.

But in an interview with The Times, Bacon revealed doctors told him he could have died from the illness, which has still not been diagnosed.

Richard Bacon leaves hospital
Richard Bacon left hospital with wife Rebecca after battling a mystery illness (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The former Blue Peter host said he keeps thinking about the worldwide Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, adding: “Of course, you think, in 1918 you can die from the flu.

“You can understand why they died – but in 2018, I can go into a hospital, aged 42, be that fit, and have all that modern equipment around me and still nearly die? F*****g hell. I came that close. The first two nights, it was incredibly close.”

Bacon, who has two children, Arthur, six, and Ivy, four, said he wants to thank the NHS for saving his life.

He also revealed he has given up alcohol due to the health scare.

Richard Bacon leaves hospital
Richard Bacon said he is now embracing a healthier lifestyle (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “I’ve decided to really, really embrace health from here on in.

“I’ve always drunk too much, I’ve always drunk too quickly, so I’m giving up drinking altogether forever as a result of what happened to me.

“Because if I don’t effect some sort of really, really positive change out of this, then it’s a giant waste of everyone’s time… So I’m using it to effect positive change.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about anyway. I want to do something different, I want to look back in 10, 20 years and think ‘this was the moment I changed my life’.”

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