British actor Mathew Horne was petrified he'd suffered a stroke when he collapsed onstage during his stint in a London play earlier this year (09).
The comedy star fainted during an afternoon matinee performance of West End show Entertaining Mr Sloane in April (09), and couldn't move for 10 minutes before paramedics arrived to take him to hospital.
The experience left Horne terrified for his health - but he was furious when critics blamed the incident on his partying.
He says, "I was on stage and I just blacked out and dropped to the floor. It came on pretty suddenly and the next thing I was in hospital and the doctors said I might have had a stroke. It was a scary time. Because I'd passed out and there was no obvious cause, they ran all the stroke tests on me. Thankfully, it only took a few hours to get the negative results and be told that it was just a virus. Even so, it was really frightening. It gave me a shock, and it took me a good three weeks to fully recover.
"During that time, when you're really frightened and coming to terms with it, to have people saying things like that was pretty hard. If they had pictures of me coming out of clubs every night, fair enough, but that's not the case."
But the star insists the experience has taught him to take better care of himself: "I was pushing myself too hard with work at the time and that definitely contributed. I was doing the Brits (Awards), the press for our sketch show and film, and the play. I was running a lot, too. I was definitely doing too much. It was a good learning curve."