Richard Wilson, the actor well known for his role as the grumpy Victor Meldrew in BBC sitcom classic ‘One Foot In the Grave’, is in hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The Scottish-born actor, who recently turned 80, is reported by The Guardian to have had a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon (August 10th). He was rushed to hospital and is now in a stable condition, according to a statement issued on Thursday evening by his agent, John Grant.

Richard WilsonRichard Wilson has suffered a heart attack

Wilson, a long-time gay rights activist and who came out when Time Out published a list influential gay people in 2013, has also recently starred in BBC’s ‘Merlin’, as well as roles in ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Mr. Bean’.

Aside from his TV career, Wilson has long enjoyed a strong reputation for acting and directing in the theatre. He directed Antony Sher as Holocaust survivor Primo Levi in the one-man play ‘Primo’ and last year revived Sarah Kane’s ‘Blasted’. His own stage roles have included the lead in Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ and Malvolio in ‘Twelfth Night’.

More: Richard Wilson to revive his classic character Victor Meldrew for stage show

Wilson played his most famous role, alongside Annette Crosbie as Meldrew’s long-suffering wife Margaret, in ‘One Foot In the Grave’ between 1990 and 2000. In a recent interview, the actor revealed that he initially turned down the role and that it nearly went to comedian Les Dawson instead.

“I was in my early 50s and Victor was 60. I turned it down,” Wilson said. “I think Les Dawson was being considered. A very funny man – but I don’t know if he could have played Victor.”

He had been due to bring back his iconic character in a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival later in August titled ‘I Don’t Believe It! An Evening with Victor Meldrew’, but his hospitalisation has cast severe doubt over those performances.

More: Richard Wilson honoured with Outstanding Contribution award at BAFTA Scotland awards [archive]