When a Blyth schoolboy had to go through yet another open-heart surgery, the thought of seeing his favourite comedy duo was all he could think about during seven weeks of recovery in hospital.
Cole Taylor, who suffered a cardiac arrest when he was just seven, was desperate to get well enough to watch panto legends Danny Adams and Clive Webb perform their Cirque Du Hilarious on the Tynemouth seafront after his operation in February.
Fast forward six months and the 10-year-old has finally got to see his heroes perform and he even got to meet them in the flesh.
Cole’s mother, Roisin, said: “He has been in hospital for long stays five times over the past three years, but his reaction has been amazing – he just gets on with it.
“During this last stay, he saw that Danny and Clive were coming to Tynemouth and asked for tickets for his birthday when he was in his hospital bed. He had seen them before at one of their circus shows when he found his love for Danny. He imitates him and looks at his videos on YouTube all the time, he just loves everything he does.
“I ordered the tickets straightaway and looking forward to seeing them perform helped him through his stay in hospital.
“It was a real treat for him to see the show and then meet Danny and Clive afterwards. The whole Cirque Du Hilarious team has helped to make a little boy very happy.”
Cole, who attends Bede Academy, was brought back from the dead by his dad Wayne after collapsing while playing with his brother in a paddling pool in 2015.
He was later diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome – a rare heart condition – and he was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defribrillator (ICD) to help regulate his heart rhythm.
He most recently spent nearly two months in hospital and underwent multiple surgeries after problems arose with the device.
But he has not let his condition get him down and he loves to laugh, especially when his favourite comedy pair perform their silly routines.
After the show, Cole said: “Danny and Clive are so funny. I have seen them about five times in the panto and they make me laugh so much.
“I love when Danny shouts ‘I killed the pigeon’ and ‘accident!’.
“I really enjoyed the circus – especially when they pied each other – and meeting them both was brilliant.”
Danny and Clive finished a three-week leg of their Magical Mischief Tour at the Beaconsfield, Tynemouth, on Sunday after performing their brand of slapstick humour in front of thousands of people over the summer.
Danny and his brother Mick, who also starred in the circus, will begin filming their new CBBC series Danny and Mick this week.
Clive and Danny made their debut at the Theatre Royal Newcastle panto in 2005, with Jill Halfpenny, and they ended up dominating the reviews.
Since then, they have topped the bill at the pantomime for the last 13 years, making them household names in and around the North East.
Danny said: “Cole has been through so much and we are glad that looking forward to the show helped him get through what must have been a really tough time in hospital.
“It is fantastic to know that our comedy can do things like that. We do what we love to do, and even more than that we love seeing the smiles it brings to people’s faces – young and old.
“It was great to meet Cole after one of our shows. He is a lovely lad and it seemed like he had a great time. He is a real inspiration.”