Swine flu forces Colin Murray to miss the kick-off of his radio football show

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The Independent Online

Colin Murray was forced to abandon his debut on his self-titled sports programme on Radio 5 Live last week after he was struck down with swine flu.

The Radio and TV presenter, who is a self-confessed workaholic, spent the past couple of months taking a self-imposed break following his departure from Radio 1 when he became ill four days before the inaugural show.

The 32-year-old found himself confined to his home in Essex and his former Radio 1 colleague Mark Chapman was forced to step in while he recuperated.

Speaking from his house in England, Murray, who is no longer bedridden, told the Belfast Telegraph that he was disappointed Kicking Off With Colin Murray did not kick off with Colin Murray, but was looking forward to finally getting into the hot seat when he is virus-free.

“I should be back at work over the next few days, hopefully,” an upbeat Murray said last night. “Basically the swine flu advice is when your symptoms are all gone you are not contagious anymore. So, as you can imagine, I am pretty bored round the house at the moment but I will have to wait.

“Hopefully by Wednesday, Thursday I will have no symptoms and then I can leave the house. There’s no real big issue, it’s the same as everyone else.”

Murray explained he felt very ill for the first few days but once he had been given the anti-virals, Tamiflu, he started to feel better.

He said: “The worst of it was the first five days for me. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in particular were really bad.

“Saturday, I didn’t sleep as much and then now at the start of the week I am starting to feel better. But I am still a bit hot. I am still coughing and spluttering and have a sore head and stuff. It’s just like any other flu really.”

And while he would have preferred to have not contracted the H1N1 virus, the Liverpool fan — who also hosts a live Premier League football show on Sundays and Saturday morning sports quiz programme Fighting Talk — said the past week has not been all bad.

“On the plus side I got to watch a lot of sport and television this weekend,” he said with a bit of a laugh.

“I got to watch Rory McIlroy in the golf and got to watch more live stuff.

“I am up and about today which is great. My throat was really bad which was not an ideal thing for radio. I could not have possibly done the show which was a bit of a shame but at least I am up and about now.

“It’s just like any flu, you just sleep a lot because you don’t have any energy but I am getting my energy now back so that’s great.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph