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This article was published in March 2013. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Canadian TV presenter: Inside Epilepsy

22 Mar 2013

Camera on the set of a television breakfast showA Canadian television presenter has spoken honestly about his epilepsy – which only became obvious to him after having a seizure in the middle of a live broadcast

Mark McAllister is a presenter on the Canadian current affairs show, Global Toronto. In 2011, he and his wife had noticed some unusual things about his behaviour – including vacant moments and slight confusion.

These symptoms presented a very public problem during one of the show’s live broadcasts. During an item on events in Libya, he began to speak gibberish, while cameras continued to roll.

Two news anchors smiling on televisionSpeaking honestly in an interview with Yahoo! news, Mark described his frustration at not being able to get his words out during the broadcast. His embarrassment only worsened when the video of his live ‘blooper’ went viral on the internet and became a high-profile source of ridicule.

Speaking to Yahoo! Mark said: “It was difficult, the fact that it went viral… I did my best to ignore all of that because I had other things to focus on: getting my career back on track and my personal health… I can honestly say that it hurt.”

Mark’s ‘blooper’ turned out to have been a complex partial (focal) seizure. Soon after the broadcast, he was diagnosed with epilepsy and is now taking epilepsy medicine. He spoke at length about his condition in a full interview on Focus Ontario: Inside Epilepsy on 9 March.

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