Chris Rea collapses on stage in Oxford

The 'Driving Home for Christmas' singer is currently in hospital.

Chris Rea collapsed on stage in Oxford last night and has been taken to hospital.

Fans shared the news on Twitter, with some writing that the singer “fell backwards” after “struggling to hold the microphone”. He was about 45 minutes into his set.

South Central Ambulance Service was called around 9:30pm (GMT) to an incident at the venue and Rea was later taken to hospital.

Fan Darren Fewins, who was attending the show with his wife, said Rea was “standing by the microphone and he had the guitar in his hand and he kept shaking his left hand as if there was something not quite right with it.”

“He walked forward to the microphone and he was trying to grab the microphone with his left hand, and it was swinging from side-to-side. I thought at first there was something wrong with it and he was trying to keep it steady. He then took three or four steps backwards,” he told the Press Association.

“Then he just collapsed on the stage backwards. There was no-one there to catch him, he just fell into a clump. He was on his back for about two minutes before they brought the curtain down and then that was it.”

Fewins said Rea “looked fit, he looked well.” “He was changing guitars every song, and he just looked like someone who I have seen several times and was playing the best I have ever seen,” he added.

The venue later thanked the audience for their understanding, writing on Twitter: “We massively appreciate everyone’s patience who attended the Chris Rea performance this evening. Please bear with the venue team whilst we seek further updates for you. As soon as we have more news we will of course let everyone know.”

Rea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had his pancreas removed in 2001. He also suffered a stroke last year.

According to a spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service, Rea is reportedly in a stable condition.