Chris Tarrant to discuss his stroke at Headway Suffolk

Chris Tarrant, who suffered a stroke on board a flight back from Bangkok, is to be the guest speaker

Chris Tarrant, who suffered a stroke on board a flight back from Bangkok, is to be the guest speaker at Headway Suffolk's annual conference Picture: PA Photo/Channel 4/Elephant House Productions - Credit: PA

Broadcaster Chris Tarrant will be headline speaker at a neurology charity’s annual conference later this year.

Tarrant - most famous for hosting ITV’s Who Wants to be a Millonnaire? - will be at Headway’s fifth annual Neuro Conference at Wherstead Park, Ipswich on Wednesday, October 16.

As well as a series of TV shows, Tarrantalso presented the early-morning Capital Breakfast show on Capital Radio.

More recently, he has presented five series of Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways on Channel 5, where he travels around the world to ride some of the most extreme railways.

It was while travelling back from filming in Bangkok in March 2012 that Tarrant suffered a stroke on a plane, with his body going numb as he lost the use of his arms and legs. The TV star has told he feared he was going to die during a traumatic 12-hour flight. He tried in vain to call his girlfriend three times.

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Upon landing at Heathrow, Tarrant collapsed and was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital, where a blood clot, which had caused a temporary loss of blood to his brain, was removed from his left leg,

Doctors told Tarrant he had been very lucky, and after spending two weeks in hospital, he had to work on regaining his speech and movement.

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He has subsequently improved his diet, started exercising and reduced his workload.

The 72-year-old was awarded an OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2004 for services to broadcasting and charity.

Helen Fairweather, chief executive of Headway Suffolk, said: “We are really delighted and excited that Chris Tarrant is coming along to tell his fascinating story of suffering a stroke and how he manages to live a full life with its effects.

“Headway Suffolk has an excellent track record of attracting renowned speakers at its Neuro Conference and we are very much looking forward to Chris sharing his experiences with our audience.”

According to the latest statistics from the brain injury association, there were 31,508 admissions to hospital in the East of England with acquired brain injury in 2016-17. Stroke was the second most prevalent cause with 12,080 after head injury.

In Suffolk, there were 3,201 total admissions - an average of 8.7 per day, of which 1,215 were from a stroke.

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