Inside Rick Stein’s five-year health battle as he admits ‘I’m not going to last much longer’

Rick's doctor said surgery was crucial

| Updated:

TV chef Rick Stein, who appears on Saturday Kitchen with Matt Tebbutt this weekend (March 2), previously opened up about his health battles following a major heart operation.

Rick first discovered there was a problem with his heart when on a trek in the Scottish hills. After becoming breathless, he visited the doctor, who told him to stop hiking. From 2018 up until June 2022, the star revealed that medication was helping the problem.

However, Rick’s doctor then said that aortic valve surgery was getting more and more crucial, and so he was admitted to hospital.

Rick said recently: “And then, a bit over a year ago, he [the doctor] said: ‘You’re going to have to have the op.”

Following his surgery, the 77-year-old chef admitted to feeling much better. However, in a more recent interview, Rick shared that he has been thinking of his death – and how, thanks to the “normal realities of life”, it might not be that far off.

Rick Stein smiling
Rick had an aortic valve replacement (Credit:

Rick Stein underwent an aortic valve replacement as health deteriorated

After being told he needed to have an operation, Rick had his aortic valve replaced.

According to the NHS, the op involves removing a faulty or damaged valve. As a result, surgeons replace the valve with one made out of synthetic materials or animal tissue. Recovering from the operation can take some time.

At my age and with the normal realities of life I’m not going to last that much longer.

If left untreated, the problems will get worse or result in a life-threatening situation. Those who survive the surgery mostly have a life expectancy close to normal.

In an interview with The Times, Rick said that he and his wife, Sarah Burns, try to stay positive as he sometimes feels as if he’s “not got long left” to live.

“My father was a bit… Well, he was a manic depressive, so I think he thought I was a bit too much like him,” he explained.

Talking about how he’s different from his father, Rick said: “I’m not manic depressive. I’m not really prone to depression, although all of us go through difficult patches. But what was attractive to me about Sas [wife Sarah] was that she always looks on the bright side, you know?”

Rick Stein talking on Virgin Radio
Rick recovered from his operation (Credit: YouTube)

‘You don’t tend to ponder how little life you’ve got left’

Having the operation and recovering from it has left Rick feeling “tremendously optimistic”.

However, he added: “Even though at my age and with the normal realities of life I’m not going to last that much longer, I think as long as you’ve got your health and you’re optimistic generally and enjoying your life, you don’t tend to ponder too much about how little life you’ve got left.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rick Stein (@chefrickstein)

Rick does seem to be making the most of his later life, though. Booked and busy, he’s soon heading off on his An Evening With tour.

It’ll visit London, Cambridge, Buxton, Edinburgh and Dorking, among other places.

And, as well as being on BBC One this weekend, he’s got a lot of other foodie shows on the boil, including his Food Stories and Rick Stein’s India.

Read more: Rick Stein on ‘forgiving’ dad for sudden suicide when he was just 17

Catch Rick Stein on BBC One appearing on Saturday Kitchen this Saturday (March 2) at 10am.

Rick Stein: Heart Surgery Gave Me A New Lease Of Life ❤️

What do you think of this article? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer