CORONATION Street legend Ken Morley has claimed he got coronavirus more than a year ago – and it nearly killed him.
The actor – who played Reg Holdsworth in the ITV soap between 1989 and 1995 – has claimed he contracted the disease while doing panto in 2018.
Ken, 77, claims he fell ill at Christmas 2018 while starring in Cinderella in York where he was playing Ugly Sister Covonia.
The actor has not been tested for the disease but has convinced himself that it is what he had because he stayed in the university area of York.
He told the Daily Star Sunday: "In the hospital I was told there was no name for the virus, but that it was mainly affecting the local Chinese students, who were there studying either medicine or English.
"I had suffered severe flu several times before in my life, but nothing to compare to that virus. What I went through was entirely different to anything I had ever had before.
"The run-in with what I thought was the flu, but am now convinced was a precursor to coronavirus, was looking like the final nail in the coffin – I can honestly say I’ve never felt as close to the final curtain as when I collapsed after being helped off stage.
"I had never been that seriously ill ever before and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in York, where I was literally in a daze for three days."
It comes as Britain's coronavirus death toll today rose to 233 – with a 41-year-old becoming the UK's youngest victim yet.
The 56 new deaths were recorded for the whole of the UK in the biggest 24-hour leap yet.
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