BBC radio star Johnnie Walker says he could ‘die at any moment’

BBC radio star Johnnie Walker says he could “die at any moment” following a prolonged battle with heart disease.

Walker, 79, underwent a triple heart bypass after suffering a heart attack in 2019. He was later diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a thickening and scarring of the lung tissue, which makes it increasingly difficult to breathe.

In a segment on their BBC Sounds podcast, Johnnie’s wife of 22 years, Tiggy, spoke about the toll her husband’s health battle is having on them.

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“I’m so tired. Sometimes I find it hard to go on,” she said.

Tiggy spoke about being told her husband should “prepare to go at any moment.”

”It was only by going to the doctors and going on antidepressants that I have kept going, because I was crying every single day and I was overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of everything I had to do,” she said.

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Johnnie spoke about having “only a finite amount of time left here in the physical before I pass over”.

He said the love of his wife is helping but he also understands the toll it is taking on her.

Johnnie said she is “very lovingly helps me get into bed and gives me a nice kiss good night, and then she has to wonder whether I’m still going to be alive in the morning, which must be pretty hard for her”.

The BBC star had battled cancer in 2006.

He said to his wife, “Your love was just so sustaining, it gave me so much to look forward to. And your caring for me now makes my life so much better.”

In 2013 Tiggy was diagnosed with breast cancer, with Johnnie stepping into the carer role.

”The idea of chemotherapy simply horrified me because I’d seen how it devastated Johnnie,” she said.

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“For nine months after his diagnosis with non-Hodgkin lymphoma I was needed 100 per cent.

“Being a carer is far harder than being a cancer patient because you have to stay strong but you’re so incredibly isolated.”

Johnnie began his BBC radio career in 1969, presenting Sounds of the 70s and The Radio 2 Rock Show.

He was made an MBE in the 2006 New Year Honours.

Since his latest bout of ill heath Johnnie has been presenting his radio show from home.

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