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Mandel spends night in hospital


TORONTO—Howie Mandel, the Toronto-born host of the hit TV show “Deal or No Deal,” was to be released from a hospital in his hometown later today after being rushed there with an irregular heartbeat, a spokesman said.

Lewis Kay issued an e-mail statement refuting early reports that the comedian had suffered a heart attack.

“Howie is in the hospital being monitored for an irregular heartbeat, but doctors expect him to be released and back to work tomorrow [Wednesday],” Kay said in the statement. “He did not have a heart attack.“

Toronto police S/Sgt. Devin Kealey told The Canadian Press that officers were called to a downtown hotel yesterday after getting a call for a man with an undisclosed “medical condition.”

Kealey said Mandel was conscious and breathing when he arrived at St. Michael’s Hospital, accompanied by family members.

“All I can tell you was that he was conscious and breathing, and that he was obviously talking to the officers,” Kealey said.

Mandel’s hospitalization comes amid shooting for his latest TV endeavour “Howie Do It,” a prank show designed as a cross between “Candid Camera” and “Punk’d.”

The show, which debuted earlier this month in both the U.S. and Canada, follows on his success as the host of NBC’s “Deal or No Deal.”

The shows mark a relatively recent return to the limelight for the career comedian, who starred on “St. Elsewhere” in the 1980s before nearly fading from sight for nearly 20 years.

His fortunes turned in 2005 when he was chosen to host “Deal or No Deal,” the game show which drew up to 16 million viewers at its peak and became a cash cow for its host network.

Last fall, the show also went into syndication with a day-time version, putting Mandel on the air six times a week.

“[Overexposure] is the least of my worries in this business,” he said in a recent interview. “That’s a great problem to have, that I have a job that there’s just too much of.

“I’ve been in this business for 30 years and spent a good part of the 30 years looking for work, so if I have found a job that there’s too much of, that’s a problem you can only dream about having.”

Mandel said “Howie Do It” represents one of his favourite brands of comedy, adding human foibles often translate into the most humorous situations.

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