Star suf­fers stroke on stage dur­ing panto

Daily Express - - Front Page - By Liz Perkins

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

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