Benidorm actor Tim Healy written out of series after illness

Benidorm actor Tim Healy has been written out of the ninth series of the hit ITV show after flying home from Spain due to an undisclosed illness.

The 64-year-old reportedly had been fighting for his life when he fell ill almost a month ago during filming.

He flew to a hospital in Manchester on Saturday after his condition stabilised enough for him to travel.

Benidorm's filming schedule was adjusted to deal with the actor's absence but his departure has now forced a rewrite of scripts for shows that will air in 2017.

A spokesman for the ITV show said: "Tim won't be appearing in episodes whilst he rests and gets better."

Healy, who comes from Newcastle upon Tyne, has played the cross-dressing character of Les/Lesley in Benidorm since 2010.

He found fame in Geordie comedy Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and more recently has appeared as Gastric in Still Open All Hours, opposite Sir David Jason.

Healy was married to Loose Women presenter Denise Welch for 24 years before divorcing in 2012.

Welch is said to have flown to visit her former husband in Spain during his illness, while his new wife Joan was at his side.