Star suffers stroke on stage during panto
AMERICAN pop legend Jimmy Osmond suffered a stroke on stage during a pantomime, but carried on performing, it was revealed last night.
The Osmonds heartthrob, 55, fell ill during the Peter Pan show at Birmingham Hippodrome, but carried on despite feeling unwell.
He had been starring as Captain Hook alongside comedy actress and TV star Meera Syal, Hippodrome favourite Matt Slack, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley, Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Sascha Williams and acrobatic troupe The Timbuktu Tumblers in the panto.
A spokesman for Mr Osmond said: “On the evening of December 27, after pushing through the evening’s performance of Peter Pan, Jimmy Osmond was driven straight to hospital and diagnosed with a stroke. He is grateful for all the well wishes and will be taking time out in the new year.”
The venue’s Fiona Allan said: “Everyone here at Birmingham Hippodrome has been deeply saddened to hear of Jimmy’s sudden illness.
“He loved being a part of our well-renowned panto, and his portrayal of Captain Hook was both dastardly and heartwarming.
“He won the adoration not just of our audiences, but also of all our staff. We all send Jimmy and his family the very best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
He will not be returning to the show, which ends on January 27. His understudy Luke Redford, is covering, but he will be replaced by TV star Darren Day later this week.
Mr Osmond, who lives in Utah with his wife Michelle and four children, first started performing at the age of three.
Aged just nine his hit Long Haired Lover From Liverpool shot straight to number one in the UK charts, making him the youngest to do so.
The Osmonds – Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Donny – had huge success in the 1970s with hits including Crazy Horses and Love Me For A Reason.
Donny and Jimmy also enjoyed great success as solo artists, generating hysteria among thousands of young fans at concerts across the US and UK.
In an interview last year, Jimmy revealed The Osmonds were not as close as they once were.
He said: “We’re a normal family, we’ve had ups and downs. We see them whenever we can, but we’ve kind of all drifted apart a bit in some ways, because we all have families and everyone’s busy.
“We used to be in each other’s lives so much and I love them all so much.
“But we’re a normal family – we have issues sometimes with each other.”
Jimmy Osmond performs in the role of Captain Hook in Peter Pan
Darren Day will take over the role of Captain Cook