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Gandhi director Attenborough seriously ill

Lord Richard Attenborough, the doyen of British film industry who directed Oscar winning movie Gandhi, is seriously ill after a fall at his home.

entertainment Updated: Dec 22, 2008 19:21 IST

Lord Richard Attenborough, the doyen of British film industry who directed Oscar winning movie Gandhi, is seriously ill after a fall at his home.

Dailymail.co.uk reports that Attenborough, 85, collapsed at his house in Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, last week and fell into a coma. He is being treated at St George's Hospital in Tooting, South West London, where he is said to be in stable condition and has regained consciousness.

The veteran director, known affectionately as Dickie, is the older brother of naturalist and wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough, who also lives in Richmond.

Attenborough's niece Susan confirmed the news saying: “My uncle is still in hospital but doctors say there's no cause for concern. He had a fall and banged his head.

"He's not 30 any more. He's 85 and falls hurt, you know. He's doing well. We don't know when he will be released or whether he will be home in time for Christmas but we all hope so. He was in a coma but he has come out of that now.”

A spokesman for St George's Hospital too confirmed that he was being treated there.

"Lord Richard Attenborough suffered a fall at his home and is receiving care at St George's Hospital. He is currently in a stable condition," the spokesperson said.

The director had been due to take part in a remembrance ceremony for Oscar-winning actress Dame Celia Johnson, who died in 1982 after a stroke.

Apart from Gandhi, Attenborough also directed the critically acclaimed films Shadowlands and Chaplin, as well as the all-star Oh! What A Lovely War. He also acted in films like Doctor Dolittle, Elizabeth - The Virgin Queen and Jurassic Park.