Nobody wants to spend their birthday in hospital or a rehabilitation centre, especially when it’s a huge milestone like a 70th.
But Studio 10 star Denise Drysdale didn’t let it get her down as she called in to the Network Ten studio during Wednesday’s live show to announce she had recently undergone a full knee replacement, and was spending her big day in rehab.
Speaking to her co-hosts via a telephone call, the panelist – who has been absent from the show for the last few weeks as she takes time out and enjoys other commitments before returning in January 2019 – revealed she was making a slow recovery following the operation.
Asked how she’ll be celebrating her birthday, Denise joked: “I’m going to rehab. It’s about time you all say! It’s just for my knee, after my knee replacement.”
Denise revealed she has been undergoing her treatment at Robina Hospital in Queensland, before praising all of the staff there for their dedication.
She insisted she would celebrate properly in the evening with friends and family and they would likely enjoy a roast dinner together.
“I just can’t believe where the years have gone, it’s amazing, to be 70 I can’t believe it but – I made it!” she joked.
Asked by Kerri-Anne Kennerley if she’d recommend the knee replacement to other people, Denise said: “If it’s recommended… It’s done all the time, there is a bit of hard work to get yourself back to walking normally, because I look a bit like Pegleg Pete! Or I did.”
Denise has kept tight-lipped on her operation until now, having announced she’d be taking a break from the panel earlier this year.
“I thought I would be leaving,” she said at the time, when responding to false rumours that she was leaving the show for good. “I’ve been doing this job and touring for 54 years and it’s been getting to me and I’m just sick of the travel and sick of sleeping in other people’s beds.
“I went to Luce [Studio 10 executive producer] and said, ‘look, I need to go’ and then I had a meeting.”
Producers didn’t want the Gold Logie winner to leave forever and told her to have a break and come back when she’s ready.
“How lucky am I?” she added. “At my age to still be working, but to have that opportunity to go and have a little break.”
Her co-host Sarah Harris explained there were rumours online suggesting she was having a baby and that’s why she was leaving the show, but Drysdale said she wanted to spend more time with a dog she’s adopted.