During the time that The Harry Potter actor had been filming commercial is when he was told he had acute leukemia and ordered to head to the hospital for an emergency treatment.
The stunned star had taken to his knees and begged for divine intervention – and his prayers were seemingly answered when aggressive chemotherapy put the disease in remission.
Spall tells This Morning,
“I said (to the doctor), ‘Tell me what’s going on. What’s happening?’ He said, ‘Well old boy, I’m sorry to tell you, you have got leukemia’. I said, ‘I’ll phone you back’.
“I fell on my knees and I prayed to God – ‘Please don’t let this be it’. And I phoned him back and said, ‘Can I have a drink?’ and he said, ‘No, your brain might explode!’”
Spall, who was given the all-clear in the year 2002, also does tell that he and his wife Shane were determined to keep all the details of his health battle a secret from fans.
“We kept each other’s pain from each other. I knew she was in hell, and she knew I was in hell, but we never said we were in hell. I just got on with it… I never, ever wanted to be known for anything other than being an actor… I just wanted to keep it quiet so we could get through it on our own.”