TV presenter Phillip Schofield revealed he saved his dad’s life after he suffered a heart attack and ‘died’ in front of him.
The This Morning presenter recalled the “traumatic night” when he and his family were living in Auckland, New Zealand in his new book, Life’s What You Make It.
Phil, 58, explained that he happened to be at home with his mum Pat and brother Tim when his dad Brian returned home from a local art class.
The Cube host said his “skinny and fit” father was left running up the hill from the class after he accidentally locked his keys in his car.
Looking back on the evening, Phil recalled his dad Brian drinking a glass of water, which he would “rarely do” before sitting with them all in the living room.
What they thought was normal evening soon changed in second when Brian had a heart attack in his chair – a sight Phil says he “will carry with him for ever”.
The TV star said that his instincts kicked in to perform CPR immediately, although he had never seen it done, as his brother called for an ambulance and his mother ran to the door for help.
“I pulled him from the chair on to the floor. He was dead,” he wrote.
“I have no idea where I had seen CPR or mouth to mouth, but it had to have been on television because, back then, there were no lessons or any real awareness and I’d never been in a situation like that.
“I started compressing his chest and breathing into his mouth, again and again and again and again. Nothing was happening. I kept trying. “
Phil continued with his “unorthodox CPR methods” until the paramedics arrived to take over.
After they successfully got him stable and on a stretcher, one of the paramedics handed Phil a small certificate, which he has since lost, that read, “Tonight, Phillip Schofield saved a life”.
Brian, who passed away over two decades later in 2008, thankfully survived his heart attack and spent a number of days in intensive care to recover.
Reflecting on the evening, Phil said had the incident happened in rural Cornwall, where his parents lived, the outcome would have been much different and credits their move to New Zealand for saving his dad’s life.
Phil moved to New Zealand in 1981 aged 19 with his family, although he had been living in London working at the BBC as a booking clerk.
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Six months after arriving to Auckland, he landed his first presenting role hosting teen music show Shazam! in 1982 aged 20.
Once he returned to the UK, he went on to present a number of CBBC shows before taking on a presenting role with Going Live!
Fast-forward to today, Phil hosts shows such as How To Spend It Well, The Cube and has been at the helm of This Morning for 18 years.
- Life’s What You Make Of It by Phillip Schofield, published by Michael Joseph, is out now.