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Succession’s Brian Cox says playing stroke survivor opened his eyes to devastation of condition

Brian Cox on hit TV show Succession.
Brian Cox on hit TV show Succession.

Dundonian actor Brian Cox says playing a stroke survivor in hit HBO series Succession has made him better understand the devastation the condition can cause.

Cox plays media mogul Logan Roy, who suffers a stroke while in a helicopter in the first season of the multi-award-winning series.

The 75-year-old says, while he would not expect anyone to want to be like his brash, cruel, and narcissistic character, the show has helped to put the “cruel” condition in the spotlight.

Brian Cox reads a copy of The Courier

In Scotland alone, there are 128,000 people living with the effects of stroke. That figure is expected to rise to 175,000 by 2035.

Throughout the rest of the UK, someone, somewhere will have stroke every five minutes. Despite this, the charity Stroke Association says it still is a very misunderstood condition.

Actor met stroke survivors during research for role

Cox, who is supporting the charity’s Hope After Stroke campaign, said: “In my current role, as media mogul Logan Roy in HBO’s Succession, I have personal experience of playing a man who is forced to come to terms with having a major stroke.

“I met some stroke survivors whilst researching the role to comprehend more clearly how devastating stroke can be.

“Logan is used to being a master of the universe.

“He wants to be in charge of everything and everyone. His world is completely rocked by his stroke.

“Like many stroke survivors he has to learn to walk and talk again. I cannot pretend that Logan is TV’s most likeable character but the one thing he does do is to ensure that his stroke doesn’t define him. Just when his rivals are writing him off, Logan finds the resilience and determination to stage a comeback and to retain control of his empire.”

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The impact can vary enormously but the physical efforts can include swallowing difficulties, pain and sensory problems.

World Stroke Day is on Friday October 29 and aims to underline the serious nature and high rates of stroke.

It is also held to raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors

Campaign aims to help people ‘find moment of hope’

Cox, whose character is also born in Dundee and visits the city in the second season, added: “I’m not suggesting for a moment that any of us want to be like Logan.

“But the Stroke Association’s Hope After Stroke campaign is supporting stroke survivors to find their own moment of hope.

The actor was in Dundee in 2019 to film scenes at the V&A museum for the Emmy-award-winning show

“That might be as simple as walking to the end of the road or making a cup of tea – everyday things maybe – but to someone who’s had a stroke, these victories are enormous.

“But they cannot do this without your help. Please join me and help The Stroke Association to support more families find hope after stroke.”

The third season of Emmy-award winning Succession has just been released in the UK with new episodes airing on Sky Atlantic every Monday night.

The latest episodes of the show are also available on NOW TV after airing in the US on Sundays.

The first two seasons are available on Sky/Now TV and Amazon Prime.

Brian Cox on set in Dundee as filming on hit HBO show takes place at V&A

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