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TV star Geoffrey Hughes - Coronation Street's Eddie Yeats - is battling cancer after the disease returned, his spokeswoman confirmed today.
The 66-year-old, known to millions as binman Eddie in the soap during the 1970s and 1980s, collapsed with back pains at his Isle of Wight home on Friday.
He is thought to have been found by his wife Sue and was rushed by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Portsmouth for intense radiotherapy.
His spokeswoman Meg Poole said: "Geoffrey is in hospital and having radiotherapy. His wife has asked for privacy at this difficult time.''
The actor - who also starred as slobbish Onslow in hit BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances and Twiggy in The Royle Family - thought he had beaten prostate cancer a year ago.
But medics at the Portsmouth hospital, where wife Sue has been keeping a bedside vigil, gave the star the news that the disease had returned.
Hughes, who has publicly supported cancer charities, first appeared in 1960s classics such as Z-Cars and The Likely Lads and was the voice of Paul McCartney in the Beatles film The Yellow Submarine.
His other roles have included Vernon in Heartbeat and Uncle Keith in teen drama Skins.
Hughes has also guest starred in episodes of Doctor Who, Casualty, Boon and The Upper Hand and left Coronation Street in 1984.
In July last year he was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight, making him "the official link between the island and royalty at formal engagements''.