The Syndicate star Timothy Spall doesn’t play the lottery as he’s won “the life lottery”

Actor Timothy Spall is of course currently starring in Kay Mellor’s drama The Syndicate as lovable supermarket manager Bob, however, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mirror, Timothy revealed that he doesn’t play the lottery since he feels he’s already won “the life lottery.”

Timothy – who previously starred in Auf Wiedersehen Pet – has made a full recovery from leukemia.

He said, “I don’t play the lottery as I feel I have been really lucky in what I have been able to do in my life – I do the job I want to do and it makes me a living.”

And in a twist of irony, Tim’s character Bob has been diagnosed with cancer himself.

Of that, Timothy said, “Bob likes the status quo, it’s not his nature to fight this disease. Some people just accept it…

“I went the other way – but determination is not enough, you’ve got to have bloody clever doctors and a lot of chemicals to sort you out.

“I would never judge anyone on how they tackle it – sometimes you are so ill, you don’t know how ill you are.

“To say you are fighting it, is a somewhat poetic notion in your head because if you’ve got a bloody big cancer, you’re not going to wish it away.

“In Bob’s case, Catherine, his long-term girlfriend is positive and makes him fight. He’s not a fighter.

“In real life, my wife was the same. All the family were – none of us were going to have it. We just weren’t.

“But even with that, people don’t make it, it’s a tough call, it’s a life lottery. You don’t have to be a bad person or have bad karma, it’s just bloody horrible and unfortunate.

“It’s about the fickle finger of fate.”

Timothy was diagnosed with leukemia after he found numerous bruises on his body, and even in his mouth.

He said, “I asked the doctor two questions. I said ‘Am I going to die?’ He said ‘No, no. They can do marvellous things these days.’

“The other question was, ‘Will it mess up my career?’”

Of his battle with the illness, Timothy’s wife Shane said, “He was supposed to have a total of five courses of chemotherapy but his immune system was shot.

“It had degenerated so much that the chemo itself was killing him.”

However, after just two courses of treatment, Timothy beat the leukemia and was in remission within three months, and back to work shortly afterwards.

He said, “When you become seriously ill you go off into paranoia. I hated that Shane was watching me turn into this old man with no hair.

“I felt like I was imposing this decline on her, and that’s why I felt so guilty about it.”

And finally, of starring in The Syndicate, Timothy said, “Winning the lottery solves a lot of problems but creates a lot more.

“Kay’s simple premise is that when the chips are down for many people, sometimes the lottery is the last resort of hope.

“It’s great. There aren’t many dramas that you get your head smashed in, win the lottery, then wake up with something like a brain tumour. It’s a lot to take on board.”

The Syndicate continues on BBC1 tomorrow at 9pm.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.