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Wednesday, March 31, 1999 Published at 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK


Entertainment

Illness stops Morris comeback

Johnny Morris: Is stable in hospital at Swindon

Illness has forced children's TV veteran Johnny Morris to drop plans for his screen comeback.

Morris, 82, who is best known for putting voices to animals on the BBC's Animal Magic programme, was taken ill on 19 March after collapsing at his home in Hungerford, Berkshire.

Two days earlier, it was announced he would appear in new ITV show Wild Thing, which is due to start in June.

He is still receiving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital, Swindon, where his condition remains stable.

'We want him to get better'

Lesley Oaken, head of children's programmes at Tyne Tees Television, said: "Johnny has been in hospital for almost two weeks and we have been told he is not well enough to work on the series.

"We were delighted to have such a legend as Johnny on board. He is one of a kind.

"Although we are disappointed he won't be able to join us, we just want to him concentrate on getting better. It is very sad."

Animal Magic ran on BBC One for 22 years until 1984.

Dressed as a zookeeper, Morris gave personalities to animals at Bristol Zoo and had conversations with them using an array of amusing voices.

He was due to do the same for the animals at Marwell Zoo, Winchester, in a slot for the ITV show.



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