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When legendary chat show host David Letterman called in sick on Wednesday, Late Show producers were thrown into a panic. A replacement was needed fast, but they couldn't just use any old presenter. It would have to be someone with nerves of steel, a man who could handle the pressures of prime-time tomfoolery and face the perils of live TV action. There was only one option – it would have to be Mr Die Hard himself, Bruce Willis. Who else could leap into the shoes of legendary Letterman with barely a moment's notice?

Needless to say, Bruce didn't hesitate for a moment when show biz duty called. Well, he was actually scheduled to appear on the show Wednesday anyway, so it didn't require much organising. But instead of sitting beside the programme's other guest, journalist Dan Rather, Bruce took over Dave's seat and conducted the interview himself.It was an ironic reversal of fortune given the fact that Dan is rather more used to asking the questions and Bruce normally answers them. The two handled their new roles with aplomb, however, and Late Show fans were treated to a particularly unique episode. And as the renowned journalist had just returned from interviewing Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, he was happy to take part in a more light-hearted broadcast.

As for ailing Dave, a statement from his physician said: "Dave has an infection of his right eye. It's under treatment and we expect a full recovery." It was looking visibly puffy on the previous night's show, causing him to comment "I look like somebody gave me a beating."

It is the first time in 20 years he has missed an appearance. The wisecracking presenter did call on a guest host in 2000, however, when he underwent heart bypass surgery.

Photo: ©
The shoe was on the other foot for Bruce, as he turned interviewer for Wednesday's show
Photo: ©
The Die Hard star stepped in after top chat-show host Letterman was struck down by an eye infectionPhoto: © PA

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