herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Blathnaid rushed from set to hospital

ALERT: Talent judge collapses in stomach agony

ALL Ireland Talent Show judge Amanda Brunker has asked fans to "pray" for co-star Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh after her she was taken ill on last night's show.

The flame-haired presenter (40) collapsed and was rushed immediately from the set in order to receive medical treatment.

The mum-of-four was too sick to go back on air following the backstage show.

Blathnaid, who had to undergo surgery for a twisted bowel the year before last, is now feared to have suffered a relapse after she collapsed in agony on set at Ardmore Studios last night, complaining of stomach pains.

Her fellow stars of the show have come forward to reveal their concern for the bubbly presenter. Amanda Brunker said last night: "Anyone who prays please say a few for my pal Blathnaid -- very worried about her right now."

The Dublin judge said that her colleague "took a turn".

And former Eurovision singer Dana told the Herald this morning about her concerns.

"I know Blathanid for many years, she wouldn't not have been there if she could have been," she said. "You wouldn't lightly just step out of the live show, she actually had to be seen to. She's the ultimate professional and I wish her well absolutely."

Her collapse sent shockwaves through the studio, and while Blathnaid said she had been feeling unwell earlier on in the show, staff never expected her condition to worsen. "She said she wasn't that great during first show," Dana said.

"It was a fairly quick decision, she was obviously not well enough to do the second half. I think she did [go to hospital], it all happened so very fast. At the end of the show, there was no particular word back so everybody was still concerned."

Scrambling

The broadcaster had been on top form earlier in the evening when she joined fellow judges Daithi O Se, Amanda Brunker, John Creedon and Dana to appear on the live show at 6.30pm -- but by 8.30pm had become so ill that she had to pull out of the live results show.

With just minutes to go until they were back on air producers were left scrambling to find a replacement, pulling in Aidan Power at the last minute.

"Blathnaid became ill very suddenly and was in excruciating pain within minutes," said a source. "It soon become clear she was in no fit state to continue and needed immediate medical attention.

"She was clutching her stomach in pain and early indications seem to point towards another problem with her gut, which she has suffered with in the past.

"Everyone was very shocked and the other judges were struggling to hide their concern as they went back on air. She had been feeling fine all day. She had even been joking that she 'a fire in her belly' to win," they added. An RTE spokesman con-firmed Blathnaid had medical treatment, but did not elaborate.

lnolan@herald.ie

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