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Patrick Doyle Discusses Help From Potter Stars During Battle Against Leukemia

Posted by: sue
October 23, 2007, 06:40 PM

There is a new article online where composer Patrick Doyle discusses at length his battle against Leukemia, and the help and encouragement he received from some of the stars of the Harry Potter films. In a very moving piece, Mr. Doyle (who composed the score to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) describes how he at one point sobbed with frustration on the shoulders of actor Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) during the treatments for the acute myeloid leukaemia , an aggressive form of the disease . Mr. Doyle, who is in recovery, says “I rang Ken (Branagh). He came to visit twice a week while I was ill. He would help the hospital staff make tea, and bring in tapes and books for me.”

The composer goes on to tell of fighting depression and the side effects of the treatments, noting that actor Timothy Spall shared with him his own struggle against the illness, saying the Peter Pettigrew actor “had not long recovered from AML himself, having been diagnosed a year or two before, and he helped me lots with advice and encouragement. He’d say: “How’s the diarrhoea? I know, I know. And he did, because he’d been through it.”

During the third round of chemotherapy, Mr. Doyle was struggling badly, and got much welcomed help especially from Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) and Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney) who showed up at the hospital, full of mischief and fun to cheer the ailing musician.

Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman came in wearing ginger wigs, speaking with Scottish accents. The ward didn’t know what had hit it.”

“From the U.S., Emma sent me a package with a cheap black nylon wig for when my hair fell out, hair restoring cream, a tiny skeleton and a still from a film her husband Greg Wise had just done, showing a mortuary slab.

“She’d written a speech bubble with the words: ‘Oh my God, it’s Patrick!’ The nurses were horrified but I thought it was hilarious. ...

Emma arrived as I’d just been given a drug which made me feel drunk and over-emotional. I kept telling her how much I loved her. She cried with emotion.

Patrick Doyle, who is in recovery from Leukemia, is getting some additional help from the stars of the Harry Potter films. As we told you previously, the composer is holding a charity fundraising concert this weekend that will be hosted by Kenneth Branagh, with Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton (Umbridge) Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) due to attend. The event will also feature Mr. Doyle’s music, including his score to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” For more on this event due to be held this Sunday, October 28 at Royal Albert Hall in London, England, click here.

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