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[michael sheen and kate beckinsale]Michael Sheen says his ‘terrifying’ Covid-19 experience while in America proves value of NHS

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  Michael Sheen has spoken about his awful experience of getting Covid-19 on a trip to America.

  The 52-year-old star of Amazon’s Good Omens – a second series of which has just been announced – contracted the virus in February while in America . He previously spoke about how scary it was to have the virus, back in March.

  Sheen said that he struggled to breathe, had a high fever and described “shaking in pain”.

  He said the experience brought home the importance of the NHS compared with the US’s privatised health system.

  Sheen told PA news agency: “I felt very keenly how vulnerable a situation you’re in, where if you need medical help, unless you can pay for it, unless you’ve got the opportunity to pay for it, you just don’t get it.

  “You have to literally write the cheque or whatever, before it happens.

  “I’ve always admired and respected and advocated for the NHS, but in that moment it really hit home, when you’re kind of lying in bed, shivering, having difficulty breathing and not knowing how bad this is going to get.

  “You really miss knowing that there is something like the NHS there.”

  Read More : Michael Sheen's beautiful love letter to Port Talbot

  Sheen said his brush with Covid was the first time he had been seriously ill in the US, a country in which he spent a lot of time while Lily, his daughter with actress Kate Beckinsale, was growing up.

  The Damned United and Prodigal Son star said he was “about as ill as I would ever want to get” and even his partner Anna Lundberg did not realise how serious the illness was.

  He told PA: “I couldn’t even let my partner know that how bad it was.

  “Because in trying to get out of bed, even to reach my phone, it made breathing too difficult.

  “So I just had to kind of lie there for about an hour, just trying to calm down, keep my breathing shallow in order to take the pills to bring my fever down and it just took forever.

  “That was terrifying. It was absolutely terrible.”

  David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale in Good Omens

  David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale in Good Omens – it's just been given the green light for a second series

  (Image: PA Photo/Amazon prime Video/BBC/Sophie Mutevelian)

  Sheen is calling on the media to increase diversity among its ranks and has announced 11 new writers supported by the A Writing Chance project, which he co-founded with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

  The aspiring writers and journalists are from lower income and under-represented backgrounds.

  Sheen said “The talent among our 11 writers is phenomenal. Combined with the diversity of their voices and at times revelatory points of view this is a real powerhouse of a group.

  “They go way beyond the hopes I had for this project and make me so excited for not only what they themselves will go on to achieve but also the countless other yet-to-be-discovered voices across all our communities.”

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