Stephen Fry admits feeling 'self-conscious' using cane after recovering from agonising fall off O2 stage

9 December 2023, 17:00 | Updated: 9 December 2023, 17:03

Stephen Fry has said he feels "self conscious" going out without his walking stick which he has been using since his recovery from a fall in September. Credit: Alamy
Stephen Fry has said he feels "self conscious" going out without his walking stick which he has been using since his recovery from a fall in September. Credit: Alamy. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Stephen Fry has admitted feeling 'self-conscious' going out with a walking stick during his recovery from a fall earlier this year.

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The comedian and presenter, 66, has been recovering from his fall after tumbling off a stage following a lecture at the O2 in September.

Fry told Claudia Winkleman's BBC Radio 2 programme this morning that he is "now without a stick" following the accident, which saw him taken to hospital with multiple broken bones.

"I did my bow after delivering this lecture, turned to go off stage and didn't realise that I was walking off a part of the stage where there was nothing," Fry explained.

"Six foot drop onto concrete. So I broke my right leg in a couple of places and my hip and my pelvis in four places and a bunch of ribs.

"I am now fine. I'm now without a stick, like Lazarus, I have cast aside my crutches and stick."

Stephen Fry at Hay Festival Winter Weekend, Hay-on-Wye, Wales, UK. Sunday 26th November 2023. Credit: Sam Hardwick/Alamy Live News
Stephen Fry at Hay Festival Winter Weekend, Hay-on-Wye, Wales, UK. Sunday 26th November 2023. Credit: Sam Hardwick/Alamy Live News. Picture: Alamy

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Explaining what it was like to use a walking stick, Fry said: "More than helping you walk and being some support, (it) is a flag to everyone around.

"And I live in central London where, as you know, the pavements are absolutely packed, so people suddenly stop to take a picture of the lights and you get very nervous about bumping into people when it's slidy and slippy, with a wet leaf on the pavement.

"Actually it's been fine so far, but I kind of feel a bit self-conscious without the stick."

The former QI host, who rose to fame as part of the comedy double-act Fry and Laurie, beside Hugh Laurie, gave further insight into his treatment, detailing that his surgeon told him if he did not take the painkillers he was prescribed he would be recovering for "months and months."

Fry said the surgeon told him: "'For six or seven weeks you'll lie without being able to move and what will happen to your muscles... they'll be atrophied, and your recovery will be months and months and months.'"

He also thanked the NHS on the radio show and said that the health service is "extraordinary".

Marylebone Cricket Club President Stephen Fry with Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Geroge, during the second Ashes Test on Day 4 England v Australia at Lords, London, July 1, 2023  (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images)
Marylebone Cricket Club President Stephen Fry with Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Geroge, during the second Ashes Test on Day 4 England v Australia at Lords, London, July 1, 2023 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images). Picture: Alamy

In February, Fry added his voice to public ownership campaign group We Own It, who have criticised outsourcing in the NHS.

The comedian and presenter, who used to present BBC comedy show QI and has acted in dystopian film V For Vendetta and period dramas Gosford Park and Wilde, said in a video released by the group's Twitter page: "We own it. It's ours. The NHS belongs to us."

Fry was in conversation with Claudia Winkleman who earlier this month announced she would be standing down from her BBC Radio 2 show on Saturdays. She will be replaced by comedian and presenter Romesh Ranganathan.

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