The Peep Show actor quit drinking and smoking last autumn after a routine medical check up on the set of Channel 4 sitcom Back led to the discovery of an undiagnosed heart murmur which had been exacerbated by his alcoholism.
After being told that his heart would fail if he didn’t have urgent surgery, the severity of the situation only became clear when the operation was nearly pushed back on the morning it was scheduled.
Webb recalled to The Sunday Times that his cardiologist told the surgeon: “You can’t send him home for five days, he isn’t going to last two days.”
The mitral valve prolapse he was suffering had caused the actor to feel excessively tired, but he had assumed “this is what you feel like when you’re 47 and you treat your body like a skip”.
“The drinking crawled up so gradually that I was slow-killing myself. It was certainly an addiction at the end, a dependency,” Webb said.
“I drank a lot of beer, during the day, on my own. I was thinking of it at any given time of the day.”
Webb is married to fellow comedian Abigail Burdess, and the couple have two daughters aged 10 and eight.
In 2017, Webb released his critically acclaimed memoir How Not To Be A Boy, which focussed on growing up in working class Lincolnshire and losing his mother at the age of 17.