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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
'Ill' actor walks out during play
Peter Bowles
Bowles was playing the character of General Saint Pe in the farce
Actor Peter Bowles, star of 70s sitcom To the Manor Born, has been advised to rest to recover from a viral infection, after walking off stage during a play.

The 70-year-old was performing in Chichester when he fell ill. He told the audience he "was going to put the cat out", it was widely reported.

The production of The Waltz of the Toreadors was then halted.

The executive director at the Minerva Theatre said he was "confident" that Bowles would return to the show.

"This was an obvious disappointment for the theatre," said Alan Finch, who added that his main concern was to ensure that audiences were not let down.

Peter Bowles with Penelope Keith in 1981
Bowles starred with Penelope Keith in BBC sitcom To the Manor Born
"At this stage we are confident that, with adequate time to recover, Mr Bowles will return in full health to finish the run of the show, which ends on 4 August."

The theatre did not elaborate on the circumstances of Bowles's stage exit during last Thursday's performance.

Bowles has appeared in a wide variety of television programmes during a career lasting 45 years, including Rumpole of the Bailey, The Avengers and Holby City.


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