Liz Dawn warns fans of emphysema – Daily TV round-up

Corrie actress says all she wants is to be alive next year

Former 'Coronation Street' star Liz Dawn has said that her only plan for 2013 is to 'stay alive until this time next year', as she battles lung disease.

Dawn, who played Street legend Vera Duckworth, was forced to quit the show in 2008 because of emphysema brought on by years of smoking.

Liz Dawn... reveals struggle with emphysema (Copyright: Rex)

The 73-year-old now needs a wheelchair to get around and has only a third of her lung capacity remaining.

“The doctors have told me there is nothing more they can do,” she told the Daily Mirror. “There are no new drugs I can take – so I just have to get on with things.

“Now, the main priority in my life is keeping well and keeping healthy.”

She began smoking aged 14, and built up to a 25-a-day habit.

[Related story: ITV accused of cheating over Corrie award]

“I couldn’t even answer the phone without lighting a cigarette,” she said. “I’d even smoke between courses during a meal – something I now think is disgusting.”

But then she began to see her health deteriorating, and wasdiagnosed with the disease in 2004.

“I couldn’t walk any distance without having to sit down. My children kept telling me to stop smoking, but I couldn’t. What people forget is that in my day people were encouraged to smoke.

“When I joined the Street in 1976, I would get worried that I might forget my lines. Cigarettes always made me feel better and calmed my nerves. I tried all sorts of remedies including hypnosis and acupuncture to stop. The only time I managed to give up was when I was pregnant.”

The actress added that she would encourage others to go for early checks if they suspect they may have lung problems.

“Over time I realised the severity of my condition and that is why I want to speak out now. So many people are suffering from lung disease who don’t know it.

“They think they have asthma – in fact they have emphysema. It is vital that people get tested and checked out and not leave it for years like I did.” [Daily Mirror]

Also in today's press

A man auditioning for 'The X Factor' in Australia collapsed while waiting to perform at the Sydney Cricket Ground and later died in hospital. The 33-year-old from New Zealand has yet to be named. [Digital Spy]

David Attenborough has said that he wants to move from animal life to do a show on babies. “What is the creature that really grips your emotions, that you are continuously fascinated by? The answer is the human baby. A nine-month-old,” he said. “Babies are fabulous. They change every day, grip your heart. I wouldn’t mind doing a show about them.” [The Sun]

Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) is to serve his cheating wife Kat (Jessie Wallace) with divorce papers on 'EastEnders', according to reports, in a blow to her plans for reconciliation after her affair with Derek Branning. [The Sun]