Stephen Fry reveals full hell of his O2 stage fall agony: Star, 66, smashed pelvis, ribs and leg and needed controversial painkiller Oxycontin in hospital as medics told him he was lucky to ever walk again
- The 66-year-old was speaking at the CogX Festival when the accident happened
- He was later treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich for his injuries
Stephen Fry has revealed the full hell of his O2 stage fall in a radio interview, discussing how he broken several bones and being offered controversial painkiller Oxycontin.
The actor and broadcaster, 66, had been speaking at the £495-ticket CogX Festival at The O2 when the accident happened in September. Mr Fry had finished his talk and was exiting the stage when he tumbled six feet off the edge to the floor.
He was later seen in November using a walking stick, and appeared to be in high spirits at the time.
In an interview with BBC Radio Two, he revealed the full extent of his injuries, and that he is no longer using a cane to help with his mobility.
‘I was doing an event at the O2 arena’, he told host Claudia Winkleman. ‘I did my hour after delivering this lecture, turned to go off stage and didn’t realise I was walking off a part stage where there was nothing but a six-foot drop onto concrete.
‘I broke my right leg in a couple of places, my pelvis in four places and a bunch of ribs. I’m now fine. I’m now without a stick.
Mr Fry broke his right leg in a several places, his pelvis in four places and some of his ribs
The actor and broadcaster, 66, had been speaking at the £495-ticket CogX Festival at The O2 when the accident happened in September
‘It’s been fine so far but I feel slightly self-conscious without the stick. The cane, more than helping me walk, is a flag o everyone around. I live in the centre of London where the pavements are absolutely packed. So [this time of year] you get slightly nervous with people stopping to take pictures of lights, or the [pavement] is slightly slippy’.
He also shared his experience of being at Queen Elizabeth Woolwich, where he was offered the controversial pain killing drug Oxycontin after the accident.
‘[It’s] not a famous hospital but doing extraordinary work every day’, he said. ‘They were brilliant to me. They are under a huge amount of pressure but they delivered everything I could have possibly wanted.
‘The first night they took me to hospital, the nurse brought out this little pot with pills in and I asked what they were. She said that’s zolpidem to help you sleep, this is this, and this one is for your pain. It’s called Oxycontin.
‘I said what? That’s the highly addictive opioid drug that is basically behind the opioid crisis. So I said no, I don’t think I should have that.
‘Anyway the next morning, the surgeon comes round and said oh you’ve been refusing the pain killing. And I said it was very kind of you, but I’ll put up with a bit more pain.
‘He said you misunderstand I didn’t prescribe it for your sake at all, I prescribed it for the sake of the NHS.
Stephen Fry was pictured for the first time since he broke his leg, pelvis and ribs when he fell on stage at an AI conference in November
He also shared his experience of being at Queen Elizabeth Woolwich, where he praised staff for their hard work
Aid: The television favourite, 66, used a walking stick for support as he left BBC Radio after appearing on Zoe Ball ‘s Friends Round Friday Breakfast show last month
‘He said [there are] two scenarios: one you don’t take this pain killer which is the best pain killer yet to be devised for the kind of pain you are in. For six or seven weeks, you’ll lie without being able to move and what will happen to your muscles is pretty sorry, and your recovery will be months and months.
‘Scenario two: you take the pill and probably tomorrow afternoon I’ll send round a couple of burly physios who will get you on your feet, put you in crutches and you’ll shuffle in some pain for about five minutes and then be anxious to get back to bed, but the next day a few more shuffles, the next day a step or two, you will sit in a chair for half the day and feel a little more human and you will have reduced your recuperation time massively.
‘So, these pills are not just for your comfort they are there to speed up your recovery to save the NHS money’.
He added that having taken the opioid he got ‘terribly itchy’ and that it made him feel ‘grim’.
But, he has seen the lighter side of the accident, saying the outcome could have been worse.
‘The person treating me told me he was treating a patient who had fallen on the same day as me, half the distance, and would never walk again’, he said. ‘So I really praise my lucky stars. If it had been the spine or the skull who knows’.
In 2013, Mr Fry was left with injuries to his nose and forehead after falling out of bed.
The former QI host posted news of his mishap on Twitter and said he was left with ‘noble scars on forehead & bridge of nose’.
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