Hollyoaks star and Blue singer Duncan James is to undergo more surgery to try and fix his back problems after his exit from the soap as paralysis on the left side of his body from a damaged nerve has left him with a limp.
In 2016, the actor, known for playing killer Ryan Knight who took the life of Amy Barnes before letting Harry Thompson take the fall, underwent surgery to stop vital brain fluid from leaking out of an old wound. They manage to sort a trapped nerve in his spine which alleviated the leak and saved his life but the nerve, due to being compressed by a disc, needs further work to try and improve Duncan’s comfort in his back and his ability to walk without a limp.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, he explained: ‘Unfortunately I suffered with a very bad back in 2016 and it’s still not right and once I’ve finished with ‘Hollyoaks’ I’m going to have to go and have some more surgery on it because it’s left me with a limp all down my left side. It’s quite complicated but it’s the nerve and the nerve got badly compressed by my disc and if the nerve gets damaged for more than 24 hours it dies and unfortunately I was at 36 before they operated so it’s slowly started to die.
‘It’s been a year and a half now and it hasn’t woken up so I have a lot of problems with the way I walk. I really hope I get the feeling back. It was completely life-changing. I was catheterised for three weeks and I wasn’t able to pee by myself. It was really horrible. I’m a young guy, I’m fit and healthy and then one minute the life changes.’
At one point, Duncan was warned that he would need to be catheterised for life due to the injury and he admitted that the thought filled him with dread. He shared: ‘They took the catheter out and you know the doctors said it’s a risk because you might not get that feeling back again.
‘I might have to always have a bag and I was like: “Oh my God, please don’t tell me I’ll have to walk around with a piss bag attached to me.” Of course it would’ve changed my sex life. I would have been devastated if it had.’
Duncan is currently off screen as Ryan and is set to do some work with his bandmates in Blue. But Ryan will be brought back to the show for one final stint, which is likely to see the truth about Amy’s murder exposed before he then gets his comeuppance.