Lizzie Wiggins in pledge after husband’s recovery

Duchess of Dudley Lizzie Wiggins says she is now “back in harness” after taking time out from the stage to care for her husband after he was taken seriously ill.

LIZZIE WIGGINS

Duchess of Dudley Lizzie Wiggins says she is now “back in harness” after taking time out from the stage to care for her husband after he was taken seriously ill.

The much-loved comedienne said her spouse of three years, Richard, was now on the road to recovery after suffering both heart failure and lung cancer.

And Lizzie, real name Marie Williams, said her comedy alter-ego had been a source of strength to them both by helping them to keep positive.

She said her husband’s recovery had been “remarkable” and he was now working on the speech he would give at the wedding of his eldest son, Graham, on May 26.

And Lizzie herself has already been back on the stage for a number of shows and other events are already in the pipeline. Fans who turned out to watch the comedienne in the small number of shows she performed last year were unaware of the heartbreak taking place behind the scenes.

“I was only able to do those shows with the help of my fellow cast members,” she said.

“I have passed my test but I don’t drive so people were picking me up from outside Solihull Hospital where Richard was being treated and I was going straight to the venue.

“There have been some bad times. Richard was very ill but I would not tell him just how poorly he was. He is a fighter.”

The couple, who have been together for more than a decade, married at Solihull Register Office in May 2009. Richard first became ill in August 2008 suffering heart failure and his skin was retaining fluid. Then at Christmas of the same year he was diagnosed with cancer on his left lung and spent a month in a treatment suite at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham.

In 2009, he was offered a bi-vent pacemaker operation which would regulate his heart. But he was unable to have the procedure for another year as doctors first had to be sure he had more than a year to live.

Lizzie, originally from Tipton, said: “It has been hard but we have come through it. I wanted people to know what had happened and why I had not been on stage as much as usual. I want to apologise if anybody felt disappointed or let down by my shows, or lack of them, during that time.”