People Who Fainted On Live TV

Being on live television always carries some form of risk. A sudden bout of memory loss, for example, or brain freeze. Then there's the prospect of an accidental curse word, an embarrassing mix-up, some form of libel that could land you in court, or an uncontrollable fit of giggles. Some celebs have also made headlines for falling over, getting into fights, and even appearing wasted on live TV. And whether you're super famous or not, if you're dealing with kids or animals during a live broadcast, then pretty much anything can happen. But one of the things that's hardest to prepare for is undoubtedly passing out.

And considering the heat of the studio lights and the pressure of being beamed into millions of people's homes, fainting spells are actually pretty common, especially since the advent of 24-hour rolling news channels. From weather forecasters and political reporters to anchorwomen and special guests, as well as the odd talk show host, here's a look at some people who experienced a rush of blood to the head at the worst possible moment.

Alissa Carlson fainted just before her weather forecast

Viewers of one particular Saturday morning broadcast of "CBS Los Angeles KCAL News" were left concerned for meteorologist Alissa Carlson in March 2023, when she suddenly fainted while being introduced for her weather forecast.

"Who is ready for some sunshine?" asked co-host Nichelle Medina. "I know I am. Let's start off with a check of your next weather with meteorologist Alissa Carlson. She joins us live in the studio." It was at this point that her colleague's eyes started rolling, and within seconds, she'd also slumped to the floor. The network, which immediately switched to a commercial break, later stated on its website that staff "jumped in to help and comfort her while waiting for medical help to arrive."

While CBS Los Angeles also took to Twitter to reassure audiences that the meteorologist was recuperating, Carlson herself posted the following on Facebook: "Thanks for all the texts, calls, and well wishes. I am going to be ok!" Shortly after, the one-time Miss California revealed on-air that she'd been diagnosed with the condition known as vasovagal syncope, in which fainting is caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure and heart rate, per CBS News.

Wendy Williams passed out while dressed as the Statue of Liberty

Wendy Williams not only had to deal with passing out live on air while filming an episode of her eponymous talk show, but she also had to deal with the skeptics who believed that the whole thing had been a stunt!

While filming a Halloween episode of "The Wendy Williams Show" in 2017, the star suddenly began to feel dizzy — understandably so, considering she was sporting a weighty Statue of Liberty costume under the studio's bright lights. And although she tried to power through, the heat eventually got the better of her. Remarkably, Williams managed to recuperate in time to finish the rest of the show. But in a subsequent episode, she was keen to dispel rumors that she'd been play acting.

"A lot of people thought that was a joke, me fainting on my set. No, that was not a joke," Williams, who would later open up about her health struggles with Graves' disease, said (via People). "I'm a tall woman, and it's a long way down. ... I'm a 53-year-old, middle-aged woman going through what middle-aged women go through if you know what I mean. The costume got hot. All the sudden right before passing out, I felt like I was in the middle of a campfire." The former shock jock, who was discovered to be low on electrolytes by paramedics, thanked everyone who'd expressed concern and also denied that she'd suffered a stroke.

Elianis Garrido collapsed on a Colombian TV show

Elianis Garrido, an actor, dancer, and TV personality with more than 6 million Instagram followers, worried everyone watching the Colombian show "Lo Sé Todo" in March 2023, when she suddenly slumped to the floor. 

Following the incident, María Fernanda Romero — another presenter on the state-owned Canal 1 show — revealed that the sudden climate changes had left her colleague feeling ill with a nasty cough in the days leading up to the dramatic on-air fainting. However, the first sign for viewers that something was wrong occurred when the 30-something used her hands to shield her face — soon after, she collapsed off of her chair and onto the floor. Garrido subsequently received medical attention for respiratory issues.

Her shocked co-host, Ariel Osorio, later reassured audiences — and the star's mother, in particular — about Garrido's condition, saying (via the New York Post), "Everything is fine. Eli is perfect. ... She will call you soon, we will tell you what is happening with Eli." When Garrido, who thankfully made a full recovery, took to her Instagram Stories a few days later, she told her fans, "Thank you all for your messages."

Kate McCann fainted during political debate

"Well that wasn't how last night was supposed to end!" tweeted British TV presenter Kate McCann in part after the Conservative party leadership debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss that she was chairing got cut short in dramatic style in July 2022.

McCann's live TV faint actually happened off-camera. It was only when Truss, halfway through answering a question about the rise in meat costs, suddenly stopped talking with a horrified look on her face that viewers became aware that something had gone wrong. Talk TV, the channel hosting the political broadcast, soon took to Twitter to confirm what had happened: "Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn't continue with the debate. We apologize to our viewers and listeners."

McCann thanked everyone who'd sent her well wishes, before apologizing to both Sunak and the eventual winner, Truss, for halting their screentime. She added, "Tonight I'll be unpicking the debate with some new polling from 7pm (... yes, sat down!)."

Erica Cardoso blacked out while hosting a quiz show

Just a few hours before hosting one particular episode of Portuguese show "Super Quiz" in 2016, Erica Cardoso asked her Instagram followers for advice on curing a cold. But the star soon showed that her ailments extended beyond a runny nose.

Cardoso had previously requested some water from the show's production team, having expressed her discomfort at the heat she was experiencing. And shortly after introducing one particular caller, she suddenly blacked out. As the man at the other end of the phone repeatedly said "Hello" without getting a response, the show cut to a commercial break.

Luckily, Cardoso made a full recovery and was back in the studio, thousands of miles away from her Lisbon hometown in Budapest, the next day. She told viewers (via Express), "Thank you for all the messages and comments of affection that I have received throughout the day today. I couldn't be more grateful. A kiss and see you again tomorrow, good people."

Shaka Hislop keeled over at Sunday at the Rose Bowl

In July 2023, former Newcastle United, West Ham and FC Dallas goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was giving his insights into the soccer friendly between Real Madrid and AC Milan on ESPN's "Sunday at the Rose Bowl" when he suddenly lost his balance and keeled over.

Co-host Dan Thomas — who could be heard requesting medical help for Hislop after the shocking incident took place — took to Twitter soon after to inform viewers that Hislop was conscious and being looked after by medics. During half-time, the presenter added that the former sportsman — who played for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2006 World Cup — was more embarrassed than anything.

Thomas said, "He's apologized profusely — not a man who likes people to make a fuss of him. Obviously, [it's] far too early to make any sort of diagnosis, but the important thing is that Shaka's conscious. And we spoke to his family as well, because you imagine seeing that happen live — there can't be many more things that can scare you amongst the family." Noting that he'd spoken directly with Hislop's wife, Desha, the relieved broadcaster also stated that thankfully, "Things are looking okay."

Weather expert Mark McCarthy fainted during a TV interview

In 2018, the National Climate Information Center manager Mark McCarthy was being interviewed for a BBC News segment about the increase in UK summer temperatures. "One thing that we are seeing is ...," he began his explanation (via The Wrap). But audiences never got to find out what this one thing was.

Indeed, McCarthy suddenly apologized, excused himself, and moved out of shot, prompting host Annita McVeigh to ask, "Are you okay, Mark? Perhaps we'll try to come back to you." The weather expert later revealed on Twitter exactly what had happened: "Note to self — avoid passing out on live tv." He once again said sorry to McVeigh and the channel, adding, "Not my finest interview."

McCarthy also reassured his followers that there was nothing too serious about his on-air/off-camera blackout. He tweeted, "Thank you to everyone for your kind words and encouragement. I'm totally fine, just a little under the weather."

Cassie Slane had more than one fainting spell on QVC

QVC presenter Dan Hughes certainly displayed his salesman credentials in 2012, when he continued to extol the virtues of a child-friendly tablet while simultaneously tending to a guest-host who'd collapsed into his arms.

Cassie Slane was busy promoting the product when she started patting her chest, displayed signs of breathing difficulties, and eventually passed out. As the cameras quickly cut away from the duo, Hughes — who, to his credit, did ask if she was okay — continued to act as though nothing had happened. For her part, Slane later defended Hughes' undeterred handling of the situation, telling "Today" that it was simply a mark of his professionalism. But let's back up a bit.

Responding to a viewer query about Slane's welfare on Facebook, the network stated (via ABC News), "Our on-air guest Cassie had a brief fainting spell. We are pleased to report that she is feeling fine now." Slane herself also took to the same social media platform the day after to let her followers know that she was thankfully feeling much better. But as then-QVC presenter Carolyn Gracie referenced on her since-deleted Facebook page at the time, this unfortunately wasn't the first time such a thing had happened: two years prior, Slane similarly suffered another on-air collapse. "She had a couple of fainting spells due to low blood sugar," Gracie wrote of Slane. "Poor thing. She is such a nice girl."

Julie Yoo passed out while covering climate talks

National Climate Information Center manager Mark McCarthy isn't the only person to have fainted live on TV while discussing the issue of global warming. Julie Yoo, a presenter on Singapore network Channel News Asia, also experienced a sudden rush of blood to the head while reporting on the climate change talks held by the United Nations' COP27 in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.

In a CNA statement released to the press, a spokesperson for the channel explained that Yoo had fallen ill due to a combination of low blood sugar and dehydration. They added, "She will be resting tonight and will be back on air tomorrow. We would like to thank everyone for their concern."

Yoo, who received medical help following the incident, was working on the channel's "Asia Tonight" show at the time. But she is best known for her co-hosting role on "Asia First," CNA's most prominent morning show.

Not everyone believed Gillian McKeith fainted on I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here

Gillian McKeith is best-known in the UK for two things: inspecting members of the public's feces on the pseudoscientific dieting show "You Are What You Eat," and apparently fainting just seconds after being selected to do a trial on jungle-themed reality series "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here."

The Scotswoman had already been chosen by the British public to do the previous six challenges in Series 10 of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here." But some viewers felt the prospect of doing a seventh was allegedly the straw that broke the camel's back. After being informed in a special live episode, McKeith fell to the ground in a manner perhaps melodramatic enough to make a daytime soap opera star proud. However, in response to much skepticism surrounding the incident, the formerly self-proclaimed doctor insisted that her reaction was entirely genuine. Looking back on the incident, she said (via the Mirror), "I have a history of fainting since childhood. The day before we did the live trial, I hadn't had much to eat and I wasn't feeling very well — which is the precursor to passing out. I have fainted several times and not just in the jungle." 

McKeith added of the headline-making experience, "Sometimes you can stop yourself if you get close to the ground but the problem with the jungle is there were all these leeches and so there was no way I was going to throw myself on the ground."

Rachel Mackley apologized for fainting during a weather forecast

It seems like talking about the weather on live TV is some kind of trigger for a fainting spell. Alongside CBS Los Angeles' meteorologist Alissa Carlson and BBC News guest Mark McCarthy, BBC weatherwoman Rachel Mackley has also passed out while discussing the nation's favorite subject. And proving her British credentials, she did so in the most unfailingly polite way possible. 

Mackley was appearing on regional bulletin "South East Today" in 2016 when she started to fall backwards. "I'm so sorry, I'm going to faint," she shared with those both in the studio and at home. "Quick, quick chaps, if we could sort Rachel out there," co-host Rob Smith told the show's staff as the camera panned away from Mackley and over to himself and fellow presenter Polly Evans. Claire Cottingham, a sports reporter for the same BBC region, took to Twitter soon after to give viewers an update. "Just spoken to Rachel Mackley and she's doing okay," Cottingham shared in the since-deleted tweet. "Scary moment on 'South East Today' but she's doing alright." 

Mackley, who was given treatment at Pembury Hospital, told her own Twitter followers just a few days later that she'd essentially recovered and was well enough to resume her weatherwoman duties, quipping, "Can't wait to be back at work. Non fainting weather reports to commence soon..!"

Anchorwoman Seda Selek passed out during a daily bulletin

Turkish anchorwoman Seda Selek ended up making the news herself in 2012, when she fainted during a live bulletin broadcast for the Kanal 24 network shortly after she started to visibly look unwell, dizzy, and understandably worried. As she faced the cameras in a split screen, Selek fell back and audibly hit the studio floor. Luckily, Mustafa Karaalioğlu — the journalist appearing on the opposite side of the screen — was only yards away in reality and was able to quickly leap into action and aid the ailing presenter.

The Marmara University graduate, who pivoted from tourism and hotel management to working in the media at the turn of the century, later confirmed that a drop in blood pressure was responsible for dramatically cutting her workday short. "Doctors have told me I am now fine," Selek added (via Metro), as the Turkish press reported that she was indeed given the go-ahead to return to work after being checked over by medics.

Daria Kozlova fainted while talking to a Russian government minister

Russian reporter Daria Kozlova inadvertently sparked a conspiracy theory in 2018 when she fainted during an interview with the Kremlin's Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov. Indeed, the Daily Mail reports that some viewers believed she'd been hypnotized by the Vladimir Putin-appointed government official due to her sudden collapse.

While Kozlova's blackout was understandably cut out of the repeated interview later screened by the network, let's break down what happened. The drama began at the Russian Ministry of Defence's Army-2018 exhibition in Moscow as Kozlova — appearing to slur her words during the line of questioning — started asking Manturov about the state-owned tech company Rostec and its involvement with the United Aircraft Corporation. The Russia 24 news channel journalist then steadied herself just in time following a brief stumble. Seconds later, however, Manturov was forced to save her from hitting the floor when she suddenly began to fall backwards.

After coming around, Kozlova was reportedly handed a drink of water, with a spokesperson later saying that she was thankfully making a full recovery.

Turkish journalist Abdulkadir Ünal crashed during a political interview

Turkish native Abdulkadir Ünal no doubt wishes he'd stayed at home rather powering through his bout of influenza after he fainted during a 2017 political interview. The editor-in-chief of Kanal 5 Television was feeling unwell long before he arrived at the studio floor of the TRT News discussion show "Anadolu Soruyor." But he seemingly believed that the chance to grill Mehdi Eker, the deputy chairman of the AK Party, was too big an opportunity to miss.

Unfortunately, Ünal didn't get the chance to ask many questions. As viewers could see for themselves, the journalist soon slumped from his chair onto the floor, prompting producers to swiftly switch to a commercial break. Sinan Burhan, the chairman of the Anadolu Publishers Association, later reassured audiences that the incident was nothing too serious. "This is the first time we have experienced something like this," he said (via The Sun). "We sent our friend to the hospital. It's probably a flu infection. He's tired too. He may have been faint for this reason. Do not worry viewers. Our friend is in the hospital, treatment is ongoing."