'I'm lucky to be alive' says Marr in first television appearance since suffering stroke

 

Andrew Marr has said he feels “lucky to be alive” following a major stroke brought on by an intense exercise session on a rowing machine.

The BBC presenter made his first television appearance since suffering a stroke in January. He told viewers of his Sunday morning current affairs show that his left arm “isn’t much good yet” but his voice and memory were unaffected.

The 53-year-old blamed a combination of rigorous physical activity and overworking for his health scare.

“I had a major stroke, I’m frankly lucky to be alive. I had been heavily overworking – mostly my own fault – in the year before that,” he said.

“I’d had two minor strokes, it turned out, in that year – which I hadn’t noticed – and then I did the terrible thing of believing what I read in the newspapers, because the newspapers were saying what we must all do is take very intensive exercise, in short bursts, and that’s the way to health.

“Well I went onto a rowing machine and gave it everything I had, and had a strange feeling afterwards – a blinding headache, and flashes of light – served out the family meal, went to bed, woke up the next morning lying on the floor unable to move.

“And what I’d done, I’d torn the carotid artery, which takes blood into the brain, and had a stroke overnight - which basically wipes out a bit of your brain.”

The stroke impaired the left hand side of his body, leaving him unable to “walk fluently”. Instead, he said, he had mastered “a kind of elegant hobble”.

While Mr Marr pre-recorded interviews with Margaret Thatcher’s former Transport Secretary Lord Parkinson and the Labour peer Baroness Kennedy for today’s show, the live segments continue to be hosted by guest presenters. Standing in today was newsreader Sophie Raworth.

But the veteran presenter told her he was going to be “taking your chair” when he recovers, saying he was undergoing sessions of intensive physiotherapy to help him convalesce.

“I’m now in the period where if I really concentrate on the physio, I will get better, and if I don’t, I won’t. Which is why I'm not back trying to do the job full-time, I have to say.

“I’m going to be taking your chair I’m absolutely sure, when I’m ready. I’m certainly coming back. I’ve got a lot more to say about it all, but I’m going to wait until I've gone through the physio to do so.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor