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Comedy star Paul Shane to have bypass op - AUDIO

SOUTH Yorkshire comedy great Paul Shane today revealed he is to undergo life-saving heart surgery. Listen to our exclusive audio interview.

Click on the green play button to hear our full interview with Paul Shane - talking about the heart by-pass operation he will have this week.

The Hi-di-Hi star has been told he needs at least a double heart bypass to combat hardening of his arteries.

He said surgeons may yet decide on a quadruple bypass during the operation scheduled for tomorrow at Sheffield Northern General Hospital.

The surgery involves taking arteries or veins from other parts of his body and grafting them to the coronary arteries, to bypass narrowings and improve blood supply.

Paul, speaking exclusively to The Star, confessed he is apprehensive about the major surgery - but said he didn't have a choice.

"If I didn't have this operation I could be dead in 12-months - or I could last 10 years. You don't know. But I'm not taking that risk," said Paul, who is 69 next month.

"There wasn't any telltale signs really. I actually feel as fit as a fiddle.But I collapsed about 18 months ago so I went to see a heart specialist and an angiogram showed I've got narrowing of the arteries. I'm either having two or four bypasses - they won't know, until the operation..

"It will make a lot of difference to my quality of life. That's what everyone who's had it has said to me, including a lot of my friends in showbiz. Doctors say this can put another 10 to 15 years on your life."

Paul, born in Thrybergh, Rotherham, put his own problems aside to turn up and meet fans at Barnsley's Shaw Lane cricket ground in support of a charity match for kidney treatment and research. He praised police, who had also given their time free to work the event, organised by musical director pal Mike Ryal and tailor to the stars Neil Crossland, founders of showbizcharity.com

A former Silverwood Colliery miner turned pub singer, embarked on comedy with a send up of Tom Jones' hit Green Green Grass Of Home. Sitcom roles made him a household name in the 1980s and 90s, first as Ted Bovis in holiday camp comedy Hi-de-Hi, then starring in You Rang, M'Lord? and Oh Doctor Beeching.

He went on to appear in Coronation Street, Holby City and Emmerdale, playing Solomon Dingle. Last year he was in an episode of David Jason's ITV drama A Touch of Frost.

He says he would welcome another sitcom part, but believes reality television has taken the slot.

See The Star tomorrow for full report and photos from the charity cricket match featuring stars of Coronation Street, Emmerdale, TV, film and music stars.

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