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Chris Tarrant recalls terrifying stroke during long-haul flight

The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2014

Chris Tarrant
Sharnaz Shahid
Sharnaz ShahidDeputy Online Editor
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Chris Tarrant suffered a terrifying stroke mid-air during a flight from Bangkok to London in 2014, and during an appearance on Wednesday's Lorraine, the TV star recalled the horrific incident, admitting that he initially thought he was just suffering from cramp, rather than something life-threatening. "I thought I was going to die at 39,000ft somewhere between Bangkok and London," the 71-year-old shared. "I thought I had cramp. I've been very lucky. It was very scary. I ridiculously did not want to go and see a doctor on the plane - where do you land?"

Chris Tarrant© Photo: Rex

Chris Tarrant opened up about his terrifying stroke on Lorraine

He added: "But I got to this fantastic hospital and I got better, but so many don't. I had to do these bizarre exercises for months. Usually they will say get to a doctor as fast as you can, every minute makes a difference, but I couldn't - I was 14 hours on a plane. It does make you reassess." The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host confessed that the experience had forced him to overhaul his lifestyle. "I've changed my life a bit, my missus is very tough on food," he explained. "I don't drink whisky at all. It's actually not hard, it's like smoking - you just don't smoke. I do a bit of exercise and I'm still working. I don't particularly want to work very much now, but I want to keep my brain ticking over."

STORY: Chris Tarrant suffered mini-stroke on flight from Thailand to London

During the show, Chris confirmed that he has ruled out returning to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and has instead been busy filming the fourth series of Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys. Speaking in another interview, the presenter admitted he had to cut down his work load. "I also needed a lot of speech therapy as my talking was a bit slurred, " he said, via The Mirror. "I had to cut down on my workload and now I don’t work nearly as hard as I used to – just enough to keep my brain ticking over. Back in the day, I would go out and party and go straight into my job at Capital Radio without having slept. But Chris Evans, Wogan and Kenny Everett did it too. Now I have my Channel 5 show Extreme Railways. I have got a big old country estate and I walk for absolutely miles around it."

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