David Attenborough undergoes emergency heart surgery

Sir David Attenborough has undergone emergency heart surgery to have a pacemaker fitted after doctors found a heart defect

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Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough has undergone emergency heart surgery.

The 87-year-old documentary maker was rushed to hospital after his cardiologist told him he needed to have the operation to fit a pacemaker immediately after doctors discovered a heart defect, but he is now recovering and is still his "lively self".

A source close to the star told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It was very serious and this heart operation could not wait.

"David was checked out and doctors found a heart defect.

"He was then quickly taken in for the operation after he was told he needed a pacemaker.

"Everything is on hold but now he just needs some rest and he should make a full recovery."

As a result of going under the knife, David was forced to cancel a speaking tour of Australia - which was due to start next week - at the last minute yesterday (04.06.13) because he cannot handle such a lengthy flight following the operation.

A BBC spokesman said: "It's a minor procedure but it meant that he cannot go on a 27-hour flight to Australia.

"He's very disappointed that he can't fulfil the tour but it's nothing to be alarmed about. He's seeing his doctor now but he's still his lively self."

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