Paul O'Grady had a brush with death whilst filming 'For the Love of Dogs: India' in Delhi.

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady

The 62-year-old TV presenter was hospitalised with a life-threatening virus and was warned he was close to suffering renal failure after touching stray dogs and removing maggots out of a rat bite on one of the canines.

However, the former 'Blankety Blank' star - who has previously survived three heart attacks - insists it was his "own fault" because he was warned not to get too close to the messy mutts.

He said: "Getting ill was my own fault.

"They said to me, 'Keep off the streets, it's Delhi'.

"But I was lying in the gutter with these two gorgeous little puppies.

"I'm feeding them by hand and flicking maggots out of a rat bite, and of course I must have touched my mouth or my face - you forget. When you work with animals, you're not squeamish.

"At five o'clock in the morning I'm still vomiting. 10 o'clock at night, I'm still at it. They called the doctor and he said you're going in because you're so dehydrated.

"When I got in there, they said your white blood cells are going berserk, you're heading for renal failure."

Paul was told by doctors he'd need to stay in hospital, but he left and got straight back to work after being treated with antibiotics, which left him feeling "doddery" and breathless.

He told the Mirror Online: "I don't remember going into hospital because my temperature was so high.

"I felt delirious. They wanted to keep me in for a couple more days, but I said, 'I'm off.'

"I wanted to get back to work. I felt a bit doddery at first, especially being back to the heat and the pollution.

"It is so dreadful you don't realise you're not breathing properly. It's like a pea-souper, it's green and it floats."

The comedian also nearly caught rabies and spent two weeks being tested, along with members of the film crew, to see if they had a tapeworm infestation.

'For the Love of Dogs: India' airs on April 26 on ITV.

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