Harry Hill’s medical background comes back to haunt him as Lorraine Kelly shares a photo of the comedian as a fresh-faced doctor before he quit to pursue a career in stand-up
Harry Hill was given a reminder of his former life as a trainee doctor on Wednesday morning as he appeared on the latest edition of Lorraine.
The popular comedian, real name Matthew Hall, trained as a doctor at the University of London before receiving his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1988.
And he was confronted with an old photo from his brief career in the medical profession – which he left to pursue his stand-up career in the early ’90s – during an early morning chat with Lorraine Kelly.
Blast from the past: Harry Hill was given a reminder of his former life as a trainee doctor on Wednesday morning as he appeared on the latest edition of Lorraine
Observing the picture of himself wearing a stethoscope as it appeared on a large screen, the comedian, 57, explained: ‘I was doing a locum at Southampton hospital, a surgery there, and driving to London to do a comedy store there.
‘The gig was on a Sunday night in a Mexican restaurant in south Norwood. The third gig I did there was complete silence, people just staring at you.
‘I tried to climb out the window but I had to walk through them [the audience].’
Throwback: He was confronted with an old photo from his brief career in the medical profession – which he left to pursue his stand-up career in the early ’90s
Let’s talk: Hill featured as one of the celebrity guests during Wednesday morning’s Lorraine
Despite his early setbacks Hill went on to establish a hugely successful stand-up career before branching into TV with shows such as Harry Hill’s TV Burp and radio series Harry Hill’s Fruit Corner.
However he would suffer an unexpectedly lukewarm response from fans after musical I Can’t Sing! – an X Factor inspired musical based on his own book – flopped in London’s West End.
‘From my point of view it wasn’t a down,’ he said. ‘It was so much fun. I have very fond memories of it. It ran for six weeks but we’d booked the Palladium for a year!’
Success: The comedian went on to establish a hugely successful stand-up career before branching into TV with shows such as Harry Hill’s TV Burp
Speaking on The One Show last year, Hill admitted it was ‘frightening’ when he was asked if he would return to his old profession during the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: ‘Yes, I’m a retired doctor believe it or not, they contacted me about my return to work, you know, “click on this link” and I’ll be honest, I’d had a few drinks and I clicked on the link and before I knew it I had the Nightingale Excel Hospital offering for me to start work the next morning. Very frightening.’
The comedian is father to Kitty, 24, Winifred, 23, and Frederica, 17, with his wife Magda and he told how the family were anxious about his youngest daughter’s GCSE results during the pandemic.
He said: ‘We’re all anxious, I personally think these students have spent four months stuck and home, we should cut them some slack, it’s cruel. It was cruel at the best of times.’
Retired: Despite stepping away from the medical profession, Hill was asked to return during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020