Story by: Jack Foley
OSCAR-winning British film-maker, David Puttnam, has revealed
he is suffering from ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
The respected producer told the Guardian newspaper that he had
been living with the condition for 16 years, after he was first
affected by a bout in 1988.
Lord Puttnam believes the condition was triggered by a virus,
coupled with the strain he had been under during the previous
ten years spent making films, including Chariots of Fire, The
Killing Fields and Bugsy Malone.
The 63-year-old made the shock revelation after being asked to
speak about the disease by the charity, Action for ME, which is
bidding to raise public awareness of the little-known condition.
ME traditionally causes extreme fatigue, muscle pains and headaches,
and was originally labelled yuppie flu, when it first
emerged in the 80s. The exact cause remains unknown.
However, it can have devastating effects on careers and was partly
responsible for Lord Puttnams departure from Columbia Pictures,
"It occurred at exactly the time that things were coming
to a head at Columbia Pictures, which was another reason why it
was very easy for me to say look - thanks but no thanks,"
he told the national newspaper.
The illness had subsequently returned between three and eight
times a year, for about three days at a time.
Congratulating the film-maker for his decision to speak out on
their behalf, Chris Clark, chief executive of Action for ME, said:
"We are delighted that Lord Puttnam has come forward to speak
of his life, both before and with ME.
"We hope that his story will reach as many people as possible,
helping to create a more understanding world for the thousands
that must live with ME every day."