Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Barry Humphries is "responsive and stable"

Publish Date
Fri, 21 Apr 2023, 1:06PM
. Photo / File
. Photo / File

Barry Humphries is "responsive and stable"

Publish Date
Fri, 21 Apr 2023, 1:06PM

The family of iconic Australian entertainer Barry Humphries has rushed to his bedside amid conflicting reports surrounding his health.

St Vincent’s Hospital confirmed to the Herald Sun that Humphries is “responsive and stable,” following an earlier report - apparently also from the hospital, and first aired on ABC Radio earlier today - that he had gone into an “unresponsive state.”

“St Vincent’s Hospital in the last hour have gone public and said in fact he’s alert and he’s cracking jokes with the nursing staff, so they seem like two very extreme ends of the spectrum,” entertainment reporter Peter Ford said on 6PR today, referring to the earlier report of him being unresponsive.

“When I heard the initial report about being unresponsive it didn’t totally surprise me, given the gravity of the situation and the fact that I do know they have been increasing his morphine levels over the last couple of days. But to hear the other suggestion that he in fact awake and cracking jokes with nursing staff does surprise me a lot. I hope that’s the truth but we can only just wait and watch and see.”

Barry Humphries' family including his estranged daughter have rushed to his bedside. Photo / SuppliedBarry Humphries' family including his estranged daughter have rushed to his bedside. Photo / Supplied

“As we have been reporting all week, Barry has been in an increasingly perilous state of health, all these complications from the fall, the hip replacement,” Ford said.

“His children were told in the beginning of the week it would be advisable if they wanted to come see him to do so … and they are all there right now along with his wife, Lizzie.”

As Humphries’ health took a turn, his sons, Oscar and Rupert, travelled from London to be by his side along with his daughter, Emily, who he was estranged from for two decades.

According to Ford, the father and daughter only reconciled at his hospital bedside after more than 20 years of friction.

“It is a really serious situation. I don’t expect there’s going to be a good outcome,”

Ford told radio hosts Steve “Millsy” Mills and Karl Langdon on Perth radio program 6PR Breakfast yesterday.

“Barry’s two sons arrived from London [on Tuesday] and they were told basically this would be a good time to get on a plane and get to Sydney as quickly as possible.

“And he also did reconcile with his daughter who he has not spoken to for over 20 years,” Ford added. “They had a bedside meeting and that’s a good thing that that’s happened. Largely, now it’s just a waiting game.”

Humphries – who is famous for his hilarious alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson – had been living in London for about 40 years with his wife, Lizzie Spender. It was during a holiday in Sydney this summer that he suffered the fall and was hospitalised.

It was Ford who broke news of Humphries’ readmission to hospital earlier this week on Seven’s breakfast program Sunrise, sharing that the comic was determined to be back on stage by the year’s end.

“Barry won’t give up easily. Whether that’s a realistic goal, I don’t know,” he said at the time. “I am told that Barry’s health has worsened in the last week.”

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald last month, before being readmitted to hospital, Humphries said he had been in agony for several months since the fall and was undergoing “very painful” rehabilitation sessions.

“It was the most ridiculous thing, like all domestic incidents are. I was reaching for a book, my foot got caught on a rug or something, and down I went,” he said.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you