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Andrew Marr talks stroke on Jonathan Ross: 'I'll never be 100% again'

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Broadcaster Andrew Marr has spoken to Jonathan Ross about his recovery from a stroke in 2013 and has admitted that he will "never be 100% again".

Opening up on the ITV chat show about his recovery over the last year, Marr joked that he had "lost quite a big chunk of the old cauliflower" and said that he actually considered himself lucky.

Andrew Marr

© BBC / Rolf Marriott


"[After the stroke] everything on the left hand side didn't work - arm, leg, lung, tongue. Actually that was lucky. Had the stroke been on the other side I'd have lost my memory, speech and so forth," said Marr.

Explaining how an FES device on his ankle enables him to carry on with his life, he added: "What it does is every time my heel lifts off from the floor it jolts electricity down the front of my leg, so my toe goes popping up. That means I don't fall over. It's like having an electric heel in your sock.

"I'll never be 100% again but I will be most of the way there and it's one of those simple things - the more work you do, the more physiotherapy and strength training you do, the better you'll be, but you have to do it every day probably for years and years."

Marr said that his personal experiences had made him realise how poor the UK is at helping people recover from strokes, commenting: "I had enough money to pay for physiotherapy every day when I came out of hospital. I still do it almost every day. Most people can't afford that.

"We're brilliant in this country at saving people's lives from strokes, fantastic, we're as good as anywhere, but once we save their lives we're very, very bad at helping them get back to normal health and strength."

BBC presenter Andrew Marr arrives outside Westminster Abbey - April 2011

© PA Images / Steve Parsons/PA Archive


He added: "There's lots of people all around the country who are in their 20s and 30s and they are in a wheelchair or they can't walk and they can't work. They are going to spend 50 or 60 years dependent on the state, unable to pay taxes, unable to work and have a full life. With a bit of physiotherapy we could turn that around and as a country we have to give people physiotherapy after a stroke."

Explaining his decision to go back to work, he told Ross: "Doing an interview I was quite often asking a question and I was thinking, 'Am I going to get to the end of the question?' So it was tough for the first few weeks, but then it came back and there's nothing like getting back on the bicycle to cheer you up."

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday, February 15 at 10.05pm on ITV.

Other guests this week include model Abbey Clancy, Brits host James Corden and Hollywood star Uma Thurman.

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