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One Foot in the Grave star Richard Wilson suffers heart attack

Richard Wilson, the actor best known for playing Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave, has suffered a heart attack. His agent John Grant confirmed that the 80-year-old had a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon. He is in hospital and in a stable condition.

Richard's show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been cancelled as a result. The Scotsman was due to begin a 12-night run on Tuesday, to perform in one-man show I Don't Believe It! An Evening With Victor Meldrew.

He was set to reprise his role with "no supporting actors, no extras, just side-splitting, pure, priceless grump," according to the event description.

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Richard Wilson had a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon

It was this role as the bad-tempered Victor that made Richard famous, although he initially turned down the part and it was almost offered to Les Dawson.

In July he revealed to Radio Times: "I was in my early 50s and Victor was 60. I turned it down. I think Les Dawson was being considered. A very funny man – but I don't know if he could have played Victor."

Richard's character Victor first came to screens in 1990. One Foot in the Grave went on to run for six series, winning the Bafta for Best Comedy in 1992.

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The 80-year-old actor is best known for playing Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave

Fans will also recognise the actor from Hot Metal and Tutti Frutti. His later work included a cameo role in Doctor Who and starring as Gaius in Merlin.

Born in Greenock, Scotland, Richard came to acting relatively late. After studying science, he completed his national service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in Singapore.

Richard then worked as a research scientist in Glasgow, before taking up acting at the age of 27 and training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.