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Speaking on This Morning, the former pundit blamed his frail new frame in part on being left ‘without purpose’ after being ditched from Channel 4 racing in 2012.

John, 78, brushed off concerns over his gaunt new figure when talking with Holly and Phil, blaming it on a case of flu that ‘flattened’ him.

Admitting at his worst he was left unable to speak for weeks on end, he was left to fight the infection alone as there was nothing to combat it.

The star has lost several stone due to being ‘flattened by flu’ (Picture: ITV)

He then reassured fans that he was ‘recovering, but only slowly.’

John, who was accompanied by his wife on set, added that he had decided to lose weight after being given the push from his 30-year job as a horse racing pundit, because he was left feeling aimless.

He said: ‘Ever since I was sacked in 2012, by Channel 4 racing, you feel depressed. It was a purpose in life. I wake up in the morning now and I’ve got Jeremy Kyle, I’ve This Morning to watch, I’m trying to keep away from Judge Rinder.’

‘Having no purpose in life is terrible,’ he added.

At his heaviest, John says he weight 19 stone (Picture: Getty)

When Phillip said that he could’ve seized the opportunity to spend time with his wife, he said that was never an option for him.

‘I worked over 50 years, every year I’ve worked in my life,’ he told them. ‘Never missed a days’ work ever. No matter how ill I was’

‘Work comes first – before family, before anything else. You cannot look after your family if you’re not working,’ he added.

The star said that being without a job left him without purpose. (Picture: ITV)

He then admitted that he felt ‘horrible’ and fully expected to never fully recover from the ailment that left him ill.

Regardless, he said that he has no intention to disappear anytime soon.

‘You’ve got to be working to give you a purpose in life, and if you haven’t got that you wake up in the morning and you’ve just got This Morning to watch as the highlight of your day – as great as it is – but nevertheless, you feel like you’re lacking.’

Following the appearance, fans swarmed online to wish the star well over growing concern that he was seriously ill.

This Morning continues weekdays at 10.30am on ITV1. 



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