Stephen Fry opens up terrifying six-foot fall onto concrete: ‘I didn’t want to make a fuss’

Stephen Fry feared he would be 'cursed' for being gay.

Stephen Fry says he’s ready to return to work, three months after he suffered a shocking six-foot fall from the stage at London’s O2 Arena. 

On Saturday (9 December), the BAFTA-winning British actor, broadcaster, writer and comedian spoke about his recovery for the first time to Claudia Winkleman on her BBC Radio 2 show. 

When The Traitors host Winkleman admitted that she had no idea Fry had been injured, he replied: “I didn’t want to make a fuss about it.”

The 66-year-old Gosford Park actor said the fall left him needing “constant physiotherapy” after breaking his leg, pelvis, hip and multiple ribs.

Fry explained that he was trying to exit the stage at the O2 Arena after giving a lecture about AI in September. The former QI host is incredibly thankful he didn’t injure his spine or skull during the perilous fall. 

“I did my bow after delivering this lecture, turned to go off stage and didn’t realise that I was walking off the part of the stage where there was nothing – just a six-foot drop onto concrete,” he said.

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“So I broke my right leg in a couple of places and my hip and pelvis in four places and a bunch of ribs.”

However, he will be returning to our TV screens soon, hosting a UK version of Jeopardy! – a show that Fry and his husband Elliott Spencer are fans of.

The V for Vendetta star also revealed that although he was initially reluctant to take Oxycontin during his first night in hospital, he was told by a surgeon that the pills “are not there for your comfort, they are there for your recovery and to save the NHS money”.

Fry has spoken openly about his previous battles with substance abuse and addiction, and admitted to taking cocaine in various high-profile venues including Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons and House of Lords and the BBC TV Centre in his 2014 memoir, More Fool Me.

While reassuring Winkleman that he’s now fine with his trademark flair – “like Lazarus I cast aside my crutches” – Fry shared that he’s had an “exciting week” after flying to Zurich for an event and not needing to use his walking stick for the first time since his fall. 

English actor, broadcaster, comedian, director, narrator and writer Stephen Fry addresses a speech at the Varkey Foundation global teacher prize ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 8 November 2023. (GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

Stephen Fry first came to prominence as one half of the comedy duo Fry and Laurie, with fellow Cambridge Footlights member Hugh Laurie, and has starred in a range of British comedy classics including Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster. 

Fry starred in the last two Hobbit trilogy outings as the Master of Laketown, and has also made appearances in LGBTQ+ TV shows and films, such as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Heartstopper, and It’s a Sin, as well as presenting the Channel 4 documentary Willem & Frieda

He most recently played a homophobic king in Prime Video’s adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s novel Red, White & Royal Blue.

Fry served as the audiobook narrator for the Harry Potter series in the UK. He discovered this year that AI stole his voice from the audiobooks and replicated it without consent.

However, Fry faced backlash from fans after he refused to condemn controversial Harry Potter author JK Rowling in November last year, saying that the row over Rowling’s anti-trans comments was upsetting for “both sides”.

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