Northern Ireland news

Coronation Street star Charles Lawson had mini-stroke in the middle of a show

Coronation Street star Charles Lawson has revealed he was diagnosed with exhaustion before suffering a mini-stroke on stage earlier this month. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Marie Louise McConville

CORONATION Street star Charles Lawson has revealed he was diagnosed with exhaustion before suffering a mini-stroke on stage earlier this month.

The well-known Northern Ireland actor, who reprised his role as Jim McDonald on the cobbles in September, became ill mid-show, while on stage in Edinburgh.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the soap star - who was playing Ian Rankin's detective, Rebus - said he "hadn't a clue what was happening, and then it just all went black".

The incident happened on the first night of the show - Rebus - Long Shadows - in Edinburgh.

"Packed house. Second half, Cathy (Tyson), John (Stahl) and myself were on stage," he said.

"There's a 35-page scene, the climax of the piece, and I was looking at John and I was aware very quickly something was wrong. I went deaf. The colour changed - my vision changed."

Lawson was taken back stage and felt fine within 20 minutes however scans later revealed he had suffered a transient ischemic attack - mini-stroke.

"I need to sit down and think about it," he said.

"It is a great show and Ian loves it, which is the key to all of us. We've got four weeks to go, and then I'm going on holiday.

"Celebrities can whinge a lot but I'm not like that. I don't whinge, but I knew I was exhausted and I know I'm exhausted and when I finish this it's up to the Highlands for me. No signal, no phone, two dogs and my beautiful [wife] Debbie, who's looked after me."

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