Stephen Fry uses walking stick after breaking his leg, pelvis and ‘a bunch of ribs’: ‘This is my first outing’

Author and TV presenter had been quiet in the weeks since he fell six feet from a stage at the O2 Arena

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 06 November 2023 08:19 GMT
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Stephen Fry broke his leg, pelvis and several ribs after falling from a stage at an AI conference in September, the author and TV presenter has revealed.

The Golden Globe-nominated actor, author and narrator, 66, was speaking on the final day of the CogX Festival technology conference – where tickets are priced as high as £495 – on 14 September, when he took a tumble as he was exiting the stage.

Eyewitnesses claimed that Fry fell two metres from the stage to the ground below and sustained injuries to his ribs and leg. He was then rushed to hospital for treatment.

Appearing on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Thursday (2 November), Fry explained that he is using a cane at the moment because of his injuries.

“I am walking with a cane at the moment, because six weeks ago, to the very day, I delivered a lecture at the O2 Arena in Greenwich for part of CogX, which is a sort of festival of ideas, you might say,” Fry told his host.

“And I was giving a lecture on AI, a subject which has long absorbed my interest since the Seventies. And I took a bow at the end and walked off stage.

“I don't know why, I just walked off to the right, having come on from the left! I didn't know as I fiddled with the black curtain that there was a six-foot drop onto concrete.”

Fry said that he broke his leg in two places, his pelvis “in many places”, and “a bunch of ribs”.

“So, this is my first sort of outing in the world really,” he added.

Stephen Fry fell around six feet from a stage while presenting a talk about AI

The usually prolific tweeter had also been quiet on social media since his accident.

Organisers of the AI and tech festival CogX said they were “deeply concerned” when they learned of Fry’s fall.

“We are thinking of him and wishing him a swift recovery. We have opened our own inquiry and until then we are not able to share any further details,” a spokesperson said.

Fry was also photographed arriving at Zoe Ball’s Friends Round Friday breakfast show on Friday (3 November), dressed in navy trousers, a black jumper, a smart winter coat and black trainers.

As well as his many roles in films and TV series over the years, including his Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 1997 Oscar Wilde biopic, Wilde, Fry served as the host on the BBC’s popular quiz show, QI, from 2003 until 2015, when he was replaced by Sandi Toksvig.

This Sunday (5 November), he will appear as one of the first guests on Monty Python star John Cleese’s new GB News show, The Dinosaur Hour.

The comedy actor will present the episode from 12th-century Hedingham Castle in Essex, where he will interview Fry, media personality Caitlyn Jenner, legendary journalist Sir Trevor McDonald and Chris Tarrant, the former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host at 9pm.

Speaking about how he came to have a show on GB News, Cleese told The Sunday Times: “[GB] News came to me with the best offer I’ve ever had from a TV company. Normally, you have these executives who think they know more about comedy than you do, who tell you what they think is funny.

“It is like an accountant telling a novelist how to write a plot. But they said, ‘Make 10 programmes and you can do exactly what you want,’ which is remarkable.

“I know that a lot of people have it in for GB News and, to be fair, I don’t agree with the opinions of some of its presenters. But I have had carte blanche to say what I want and to be as silly or as serious as I want. We may even do a second series.”

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