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October 6, 2009

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Zhao well enough to celebrate

FAMOUS comedian Zhao Benshan celebrated his 52nd birthday in Shanghai's Huashan Hospital yesterday where he is recovering from a stroke.

Zhao has been transferred to an ordinary ward from the intensive care unit, after a successful operation last Wednesday.

He is making a speedy recovery and has regained his appetite. He is also in good spirits and can walk unaided and do simple exercises, according to

The comedian said he would like to have Shanghai's best known delicacy -- hairy crabs -- for his birthday, the Website said yesterday.

Several celebrities visited Zhao yesterday while his children also arrived to keep the comedian company.

The birthday celebrations were low-key and Zhao spent time talking to his friends, said Zhao Hengyu, vice chairman of the comedian's entertainment group.

The star was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain, after being admitted to hospital on September 30.

Doctors described his condition as a medical emergency "mainly due to abnormalities of the arteries at the base of the brain or brain injury."

They said the stroke was caused by fatigue and too much alcohol.

As Zhao is recovering well, the star should not have any more problems but will now spend a month in Shanghai resting, according to He has been advised not to travel by plane for a year.

Zhao is famous for his annual appearance at the CCTV gala show held on the eve of the Spring Festival, the country's most-watched TV program, since 1987.


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