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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Heart surgery for actor Tomlinson
Ricky Tomlinson
Tomlinson is currently fronting a heart awareness campaign
Comic actor Ricky Tomlinson has been told he needs a quadruple heart bypass.

The 68-year-old, who starred as couch potato Jim Royle in BBC comedy The Royle Family, had a routine angioplasty on Friday to unblock his arteries.

But the procedure was halted after further blockages were found in his main artery.

Tomlinson, also known for Brookside and Cracker, conceded it was "frustrating" but said he was told it would be "in my interests" to have the operation.

He added that he had been warned that this might be the outcome of Friday's hospital visit.

"I thought they had carried out the procedure because I was in the operating theatre for quite some time, about an hour," the actor explained.

I was told this operation would make me a new man, and Rita says she could do with a new man
Ricky Tomlinson jokes about his wife
"But apparently they came across a problem in my main artery so I didn't have the complete operation."

Tomlinson is at home, waiting for an appointment with a specialist to discuss when the surgery can take place.

He said he was in good spirits, adding that the situation was more frustrating for his wife Rita.

"I was told this operation would make me a new man, and Rita says she could do with a new man," he joked.

Before Friday's procedure, Tomlinson had launched an awareness campaign to encourage men to check the health of their hearts, to try to avoid the need for surgery.

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