Bannatyne suffers heart scare

Duncan Bannatyn
Duncan Bannatyn
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TV entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has thanked well-wishers after being flooded with messages of support following a heart scare.

The 63-year-old Dragons’ Den star, who lives at Wynyard on the outskirts of Hartlepool, was rushed to Darlington Memorial Hospital yesterday after he fell ill at the headquarters of his gym business in the town.

But his spokesman told the Mail this morning that tests showed he had not suffered a heart attack and the scare was stress-related.

A spokesman for the Bannatyne Group said: “He is going to be taking a few days off to rest and get over the stresses of his life.

“He will be discharged some time today. I spoke to him earlier today and he was tucking into his hospital breakfast.

“He was in relatively good spirits, and was touched by the hundreds of messages of support he recived on twitter last night.”

Mr Bannatyne was taken to hospital by ambulance at 11.40am yesterday.

He was well enough to send messages from his bed to his 540,000-plus followers on twitter, telling them: “Hi. In hospital attached to a few wires feeling tired but am sure I will be discharged tomorrow fit & well (fit as a pensioner can be anyway)”.

And he followed it with: “Today was my first trip inside an Ambulance & with siren wailing. Hope it is the last. LoL”

Bannatyne was born in Clydebank, Scotland and was raised in what he describes as “relatively modest circumstances”.

His business interests now include health clubs, hotels, property, media and transport and he is best known as a tough-talking business angel on the BBC show Dragons’ Den.

The former Royal Navy stoker began his empire with an ice cream van, rapidly expanding that business in tough competition before setting up a chain of care homes.

On his website he says he sold that for £26 million in 1996 and his children’s nursery chain for £22 million.

He has written five self-help books on becoming a success in business and managing money, was awarded an OBE for his charity works and is a vehement anti-smoker.

Bannatyne, who is a keen user of Twitter, tweeted yesterday morning: “It is Monday so start the week on a positive note & stay positive”.

Fellow Dragon Theo Paphitis said he had spoken to his friend in hospital and Bannatyne told him he did not think he had suffered a heart attack.

Paphitis tweeted: “In Scotland no mobile signal but managed to make contact with @DuncanBannatyne and he is well undergoing tests does not think heart attack!”

He added: “Speedy recovery we are missing you already”.

His daughter Abi said he was in a stable condition.

She tweeted: “As news is starting to spread I can confirm my dad was taken into hospital late this morning, he is stable and that’s all I can say for now.”

The North East Ambulance Service confirmed paramedics had taken a male from The Bannatyne Group head quarters on Haughton Road, Darlington, at 11.40am yesterday suffering chest pains, but could not confirm the identity of the patient.

Before being taken to hospital, Bannatyne tweeted: “It is Monday so start the week on a positive note & stay positive.” and “Good Morning from a very sunny Wynyard Park.”