Bob Harris to take a break from broadcasting due to illness

Investitures at Windsor Castle

Veteran broadcaster Bob Harris will be taking a break from the airwaves due to illness – and he is not sure when he will return.

The 73-year-old hosts The Country Show With Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2.

But he said in a statement that he was "sorry to say" that he will be off air for the "next few weeks".

"Ten days ago, while out walking, I suffered a tear to my aorta known as an aortic dissection.

"The aorta is basically the M1 of the body and any damage is regarded as extremely serious.

"For the past few years I have been walking an average of five miles a day and I am convinced that the level of fitness I have achieved during that time helped save my life."

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Bob Harris through the years
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Bob Harris through the years
Radio DJ, 'Whispering' Bob Harris at Windsor Castle after receiving his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) from the Princess Royal.
Claudia Winkleman, Jo Wylie and Bob Harris at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in London.
Bob Harris at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, in Hyde Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 11, 2016. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire.
Radio DJ, 'Whispering' Bob Harris with his wife Trudie Myerscough-Harris (right) and children Charlie Harris and Miles Myerscough-Harris at Windsor Castle after receiving his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) from the Princess Royal.
Radio and television presenter Bob Harris arrives for the U.K. premiere of "Celebration Day" at the Hammersmith Apollo in London October 12, 2012. "Celebration Day" is a documentary of Led Zeppelin's 2007 concert at London's O2 Arena. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
England, Whispering Bob Harris radio and television presenter. (Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: BBC Radio's Bob Harris and musician Sarah Jarosz attend the 13th annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: BBC Radio's Bob Harris attends the 13th annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 14: Bob Harris introduces Kacey Musgraves on stage for BBC Radio 2 Live In The Park at Hyde Park on September 14, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18: BBC Radio's Bob Harris presents Duane Eddy with the Lifetime Achievewment Award for an Instrumentalist at the 12th Annual Americana Music Honors And Awards Ceremony Presented By Nissan on September 18, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music Festival)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18: BBC Radio's Bob Harris presents Duane Eddy with the Lifetime Achievewment Award for an Instrumentalist at the 12th Annual Americana Music Honors And Awards Ceremony Presented By Nissan on September 18, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music Festival)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18: BBC Radio's Bob Harris and Duane Eddy attend 12th Annual Americana Music Honors And Awards Ceremony Presented By Nissan on September 18, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music Festival)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18: Holly Williams and BBC Radio's Bob Harris attend the 12th Annual Americana Music Honors And Awards Ceremony Presented By Nissan on September 18, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music Festival)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) Radio DJ Bob Harris (2nd L), Cynthia Lennon (2nd R) and their guests arrive at the fourth annual Emeralds And Ivy Ball in aid of Cancer Research UK at Battersea Evolution Centre on November 21, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Claire R Greenway/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: L-R Bob Harris and Robert Plant attend the 2009 Q Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on October 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
British radio host Bob Harris, circa 1990. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Irish folk group The Chieftains celebrating a special occasion with BBC radio and TV presenter 'Whispering' Bob Harris (third from left), 1976. Left to right: Michael Tubridy, Peadar Mercier, Harris, Sean Keane, Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, Martin Fay and Derek Bell (1935 - 2002). (Photo by Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns)
"Whispering" Bob Harris, softly spoken presenter of BBC Television's Old Grey Whistle Test, who is returning to Radio 1 after 14 years.
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He added: "It was an incredibly scary moment and I am massively indebted to the ambulance crew who attended so promptly, the intensive care team and the consultants at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and to my wife Trudie and my wonderful family who have rallied round me with huge love and support.

"I am not exactly sure when I will be on air again but I am on the road to recovery now and will be back playing music for you on Radio 2 as soon as possible.

"Thank you for everything.'

Radio 2 head Lewis Carnie said: "On behalf of everyone at Radio 2 and our millions of listeners, we wish Bob a very speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to Wogan House when he's ready."

The Country Show With Bob Harris is broadcast each Thursday evening from 9pm-10pm.

Paul Sexton will present the programme on June 13 and 20. Deputy presenters for further shows are yet to be announced.

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