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TV detective who suffered stroke uncovers a new use for his skills

PUBLISHED: 14:59 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 September 2010

A POPULAR television actor who suffered a debilitating stroke has put his acting talents to good use again, by reading poetry and plays to stroke patients recovering in hospital

A POPULAR television actor who suffered a debilitating stroke has put his acting talents to good use again, by reading poetry and plays to stroke patients recovering in hospital.

For years, Ian Brimble played the dapper Detective Sergeant Lake in the Miss Marple series.

But in December 2005, Mr Brimble, who lives in Bidwell Gardens, Muswell Hill, suffered a stroke while out shopping in Oxford Street with his wife, Thelma.

He spent two weeks in intensive care at The National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London, and was wheelchair-bound for a month.

The stroke left him with a slight but chronic disability in his left hand and aphasia, which means that he loses his speech if he becomes confused or distressed.

Mr Brimble said: "I realised after I had a stroke that my short term memory was very dodgy and that I had a very serious problem as an actor."

However, thanks to InterAct Reading Service, a charity which sends professional actors into hospitals around London and nationwide to read to stroke suffers, Mr Brimble has found a new role for his acting talents.

Mr Brimble, 60, said: "It's widely recognised that mental stimulation is vital in improving the recovery of stroke patients. InterAct provides a vital service for stroke survivors, who often suffer from depression because of their disabilities.

"It's also a charity which enables me to use my actor skills and experience as a stroke survivor.

"My audience is far more generous than a sound technician. The patients have shown me great kindness, they know what I've been through and I understand what they are experiencing. We help each other."

Stroke Awareness Day was on Tuesday.


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