Paul O’Grady: My heart scare came after I stopped taking aspirin

Paul O’Grady says he’s throwing himself back into life after his recent heart problems, caused by a blockage to an artery following his decision to stop taking aspirin.

The 58-year-old entertainer, who needed minor surgery after he suffered the blockage, tells TV Times he stopped taking aspirin while filming ITV series Animal Orphans in Africa. When he got a scratch from an animal, he bled copiously.

“”There are lots of shots of me with a hanky round my hand to stem the flow, or covered in plasters,” he said. “So I came off the aspirin because I was already on a blood thinner. But it turns out it was vital to keeping the blood thin and I ended up with a blockage.”

Despite the scare, Paul finds it almost impossible to turn down work.

“I have a high pain threshold,” says Paul, who recently filmed a sitcom pilot, Led Astray, with his good friend Cilla Black. “I just don’t like being sick. With heart problems, you can sit on the sofa and be careful or you can carry on and live your life, for God’s sake.”

Chatting about his strong work ethic, he adds: “I was talking to Jane McDonald about this, and it comes from working in the clubs for so long, that you don’t turn work down.

“You’re convinced the wolf is always at the door and that you’ll never work again.”