Ozzy's First Interview Since Accident - The Mirror (1/5/2004)



ROCK wildman Ozzy Osbourne has revealed for the first time how
he "died" twice following his quad-bike crash.

Ozzy was in a coma for a full EIGHT days and almost lost his
left arm in the horrific accident. He was also left with eight
broken ribs, a punctured lung, a smashed collarbone, severe
concussion and a crushed vertebra in his neck.

The star of hit show The Osbournes says: "I have lost at least
11 days of my life. It seems like one big nightmare."

Ozzy's injuries were far more serious than anyone realised but
he has vowed to regain his fitness and resurrect his TV and rock
careers. And he promises: "I'll never go near one of those damn
bikes again. I've finally grown up. The bloody thing nearly
killed me. I am lucky to be here today and not paralysed."

Ozzy, 55, is back at his 320-acre Buckinghamshire estate, where
he had the accident, after horrifying doctors by discharging
himself from intensive care on Christmas Eve. It is now four
weeks since he hit a pothole and was catapulted over the
handlebars on December 8.

He says: "I can't remember a thing, but have been told since
that I tumbled down a hill and the bike landed on top of me,
crushing my chest. I could have died or been paralysed. It
doesn't bear thinking about."

Ozzy owes his life to bodyguard Sam Ruston, who twice gave
him the kiss-of-life after he stopped breathing.

His voice quivering with emotion, Ozzy says: "If it wasn't for
Sam I probably wouldn't be here. He had to bring me back to
life twice. I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart.
He was brilliant."

Wife Sharon tenderly puts her arms around the man with whom
she has spent the last 25 years, as he says: "I hurt myself
so badly I'm lucky to be alive and lucky I can walk. But if
I don't wear a neckbrace at the moment, doctors have warned
me I could be paralysed for life. It's like being in a f***ing
stock - but I just have to take it easy.

"I'm Ozzy Osbourne, rock and roller, but I can barely set foot
outside my own front door. I wanted to fly back to Los Angeles
this week but doctors said I'm not fit enough. It means I'll
have to put up with this crappy British weather for another
four weeks!"

It is painfully clear that Ozzy, who spent years on drink and
drugs benders, is traumatised at not being able to remember
the accident - or much of his time in hospital.

Often he staggers around the room as he struggles to put his
thoughts into words.

His hands are shaky and at times his famous Brummy voice is
reduced to a whisper. But he keeps the humour going throughout
our interview...despite the fact that pain is etched into his
features.

And throughout our two days with him, his loving relationship
with Sharon is shown in the way she strokes his hair and holds
his hand as she fills in the gaps in his memory.

She says gently: "Ozzy was on the bike in our forest. He went
over an uneven area of ground but he didn't know because it
was covered in leaves.

"There was a really big dip and Ozzy fell off and the bike
fell on top of him. Sam was riding behind Ozzy on another
bike and saw what happened."

IN the darkest days as Ozzy lay in a coma, Sharon feared he
would die - and vowed to kill herself if he did. Her delight
at his recovery is overwhelming.

She says: "After eight days Ozzy came out of his coma and we
were all so relieved. I was terrified he would never wake
up particularly when I played his favourite Beatles tracks
and nothing stirred.

"When he woke they took him off the ventilator and he started
to breathe on his own. I just thanked God. He would wake up
periodically and go back into a coma. At first he was only
with us for a couple of hours a day."

Ozzy says: "You are bopping along through life and have your
ups and downs, but it is amazing how two or three seconds
can totally change your life.

"I thought I must have come off my Harley Davidson in Malibu,
not my quad-bike in England.

"I didn't know where I was or how long I'd been there. It
felt like months or years. I was so confused you could have
told me I was lying upside down in a kilt and I'd have
believed you!

"Or you could have told me I was stark bollock naked talking
to the Queen and I wouldn't know any better.

"It's all patchy. I would drift in and out of consciousness.
One minute I would be walking down Beaconsfield High Street
and the next I would be in Auckland, New Zealand. Other times
I could step from Monmouthshire to f***ing California. I went
everywhere: Switzerland, Amsterdam... At one point I was convinced
I was with a group of Asian fisherman off the coast of Wales.
How mad is that?

"Other times there would be a white light shining through the
darkness, but no f***ing angels, no one blowing trumpets and
no man with a white beard."

Ozzy is frustrated that he cannot remember the moment he first
awoke from his coma to mouth "I love you" to daughter Kelly and
give her the thumbs-up.

He veers between wisecracking and offering up detailed
descriptions of his physical injuries. At times it is hard
to keep up with him.

"I badly damaged one of my arteries in my left shoulder. They
had to repair that sharpish.

"My arm is in a sling now but I can move my fingers so the
blood supply is back. In so many ways I have been so lucky.
I have got a steel plate in my collarbone. On the X-rays it
looks like someone's gone at my collarbone with a hammer.

"The doctors tell me every day it could have been a lot worse.
I could be dead."

As he recovered, Ozzy defied doctors' orders and discharged
himself from his intensive care ward two weeks early, on
Christmas Eve, insisting he wanted to spend the festive
season at home.

"I couldn't stand it any more. I hated feeling like I was
going to the bathroom in the middle of Brent Cross shopping
centre. I wanted to be at home.

"I got sick of having nurses, doctors, students and sick
people around me all the time. I tried to make everyone
laugh - except the ones who died on me!

"But seriously, I wasn't sleeping well. I'd been in a coma,
woken up and couldn't stand the pain and noise. I was fed
through a tube at first. But when I could eat I wouldn't
touch hospital food. I lost my sense of taste and smell
which was just as well I suppose.

"The TV was the size of a postage stamp and that annoyed
me too. The doctors and nurses did a really great job
repairing me, but I just wanted to get home to my family
for Christmas."

Sharon says: "I didn't want him to check out and neither
did the doctors. They were devastated when he said he was
walking out the door. There was nothing anyone could do.
He just wouldn't stay there.

"I was panicking that he would fall over at home or choke
in his sleep. I am not trained to deal with such things.
It's all right with a small child but with a grown man it
is much more difficult."

Ozzy and Sharon enjoyed a quiet Christmas with Kelly, 19,
and Jack, 18, before throwing a New Year's Eve party for
family and friends at their mansion.

When we ask Ozzy if he suffered any head injuries during
the accident he reverts to the black humour that fans of
the MTV show know and love. "My brain's never been OK.
I'm f***ing Ozzy Osbourne and I'm nuts," he screams,
before collapsing into laughter.

"It was black in my head - I did not know up, down, sideways,
anything. It was just a void, vacant. I temporarily died.
Now I'm really paranoid."

Ozzy turned 55 on December 3, but can't remember whether
the crash happened before or after his birthday. "The whole
thing is just a blur. When I went into the coma, everything
got jumbled up. It's like the year starts now and I have to
work backwards. Nothing makes sense."

When asked what he does recall, Ozzy looks in despair to his
wife. "You think you are going crazy and seeing people that
you haven't. I say to Sharon, 'Do you remember going to so
nd so'. Then she'll say we never went there. I don't know
the difference between dreams and reality."

Sharon points out the diamond-studded Chanel watch she
bought him for his 55th hoping to stir his memory but
Ozzy just says blankly: "I don't really like it.

"It's all a bloody jumble. I haven't made any plans for
the future because something else may go wrong. They have
to do more X-rays and scans. You can't rush. I have to
take things one step at a time now. Still, I'm pretty
optimistic. I don't want to give a date but I'll be back.
I don't want to let my fans down. I'll be ready when I'm ready.

"But it's down to me - I've got to fight but sometimes I
fight too hard. One day I will walk to the field gate and
the next day I'll walk further. On the third day I'm back
in bed because I've done too much. As Annie Lennox said,
'Dying is easy but living is hard'. Now I'm walking around
I want to run a marathon, I wanna do gigs but if this crack
in my vertebra gets worse I could end up crippled."

When he talks about his new daily routine it is clear that
the former Black Sabbath frontman is struggling to accept
help for the most mundane of tasks.

Two private nurses work in 12-hour shifts to help him wash,
dress, adjust his neckbrace and administer his medication.

He says: "I get up at 6am 'cos the pain wakes me and then
I have to shower before the nurses help me get dressed."

"He likes that, don't you," teases Sharon.

"I like it because they're good nurses but I would never
let a woman shave me," Ozzy retorts. "I wouldn't even let
one mow the f***ing lawn.

"The nurses are great, but the pain gets worse as the days
go on. I have to keep telling myself to do as little as possible.

"Once the brace is off, I'll have to start from scratch,
doing physio and training. I can't f***ing stand sitting
around all day."

Ozzy slips back into funny mode when he is asked what he has
been prescribed to counter the pain. "I don't know what they have
given me, I can't pronounce half of them, but there's nothing yummy!"

The rocker, who is on a host of powerful pills and ointments,
jokes: "It hurts me most in my hair follicles."

Ozzy laughs through the pain, but at times he comes to a halt,
lies back on his big armchair and stares into space. At one point
he drops the lid off his Orangina drink. Sharon stoops to pick
it up before Ozzy continues chatting about his decision to
discharge himself from intensive care.

Ozzy sleeps in a hospital bed beside the giant four-poster
he and Sharon normally share. Out of his earshot, she confides:
"Ever since he has been home I find myself sleeping with one eye
open." Ozzy will have to wait at least four months to know if
he will ever return to full physical fitness.

But he jokes: "I'm getting fitter by the minute because I have
to keep running away from Sharon fussing all over me.

"I'm in constant pain from the minute I wake up until I go
to bed, but I'm determined to get better no matter what it takes.

"The old Ozzy Osbourne will be back. But I ain't gonna go
rock and rolling and until I get the all-clear from the
doctors I ain't got no plans. Before the accident I was
a keep-fit fanatic. But the thing about keeping fit is,
if you miss one week at keeping fit you have to start
from scratch. I will be starting from scratch now."

Ozzy hasn't felt able to dwell too much on the day of the
accident - and has asked few questions of those who were there.

He says: "I looked at the bike for the first time today
and felt nothing. I may never have a clear picture of what
actually happened that day."

But he then confesses he was not wearing a crash helmet
and says: "Those bikes are for kids and fools - and I'm
a fool. Those bikes are like putting a powerful motorbike
engine on a Flymo. They are competition bikes and can
easily do more than 70mph.

"They are bloody dangerous and I should have known better.
There's a sticker on them that says always wear a crash
helmet, which I ignored.

"My head knows I'm 55 but my arse still thinks I'm bloody
21. I probably forgot when to slow down and when to speed up."

"So if there is anybody out there who has got a quad-bike,
always use the equipment...or burn the bloody thing."



Sharon - The Mirror Interview (1/5/2004)

AS her husband lay motionless in a hospital bed amid a mass
of tubes, Sharon Osbourne was haunted by one thought...what
she would do if he did not recover.

Sharon, 51, clasps her hands together and stares at the
ground as she says: "If Ozzy had gone, I would have gone
with him. I wouldn't want to, or be able to, spend the rest
of my years without Ozzy.

"I couldn't go on without him. He is not just the love of
my life, he IS my life."

In a whisper, Sharon adds: "I would have taken the cowards'
way out and taken pills or something. I am not a gun person
that is far too frightening. It would have been pills and alcohol."

Sharon is sitting in "Ozzy's room" at the family's 6.5million
Buckinghamshire mansion as she bares her soul about the darkest
hours of her often-turbulent life.

The room is a shrine to former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy's
30-year music career, with scores of framed gold and silver
discs taking up an entire wall.

And the mother of Ozzy's three children - Aimee, 20, Kelly, 19,
and 18-year-old Jack - waits until her husband leaves before
discussing how she contemplated taking her life if he died.

She says: "The children are at a stage where they are all
grown up and have got their own lives with a good bunch of
people around them. They could make their own way in life
and go on without me. But I couldn't survive without Ozzy."

Sharon - struck down by colon cancer in July 2002 - looks the
picture of health as she chats in the living room of the
couple's home in the village of Chalfont St Peter.

It is hard to imagine that she has been in remission for
just eight months after undergoing a course of gruelling
chemotherapy.

The illness - which Sharon was only given a one in three
chance of surviving - was the most serious of a string of
traumas to have hit the family in the last few years.

Sharon had a "gastric bandin" operation four years ago to
help her lifelong fight with bulimia. Ozzy, who has not
touched alcohol for four months, has struggled with his
own alcoholism. And youngest son Jack went into rehab to
get over his own drink and drug problems last February.

But the moment Sharon's world really fell apart came
when Ozzy suffered the quad-bike accident.

She was at the family's Beverley Hills mansion when she
took the call telling her Ozzy was in hospital after
the crash.

Sharon says: "I was in bed because it was 6am L.A.
time. Our security guard came rushing up and told me
he had the doctors on the phone from England. I was
devastated and was on the first available plane to
London. The flight was just terrible.

"It is unbearably hard when the person you most love
in the whole world is on the other side of the Atlantic
having life-saving surgery."

When Sharon arrived at Ozzy's bedside with daughter
Kelly at Slough's Wexham Park Hospital the singer
was on a ventilator, his body a mass tubes. "I was
so glad to be at Ozzy's side," Sharon says. "But all
sorts of thoughts were going through my head.

"I was terrified he'd die, and then when he started
waking up I was terrified something had happened to
his head.

"The biggest danger in the first 72 hours was that
Ozzy would lose his left arm. That was why they
operated so quickly. They did a remarkable job on
him but it was touch and go for a while."

As Ozzy began to emerge from his coma, he at first
did not recognise his wife and would only talk to
daughter Kelly. In his confused state, Ozzy also
wrongly convinced himself Sharon was having an
affair. But after two days Sharon was relieved to
see signs of the "old Ozzy". "I knew he was getting
better because he asked me to lend him 20 quid,"
Sharon jokes. Clasping her husband's hand, she adds:
"He was terribly confused for the first couple of
days he was awake. He was dreadfully paranoid and
his mind was all jumbled up. He just did not know
what had happened and could not make out what was
reality and what he had dreamt."

Gently nudging her husband, Sharon says: "Ozzy kept
telling me there had been a bomb blast in Wales. I have
to patiently tell him what is real and what is not.

"He has even told me that we met Prince Edward at
Buckingham Palace. He keeps saying that Edward was too
frightened to come up to speak to him and kept hiding
behind his brother Charles.

"When I tell him we have not met either of them he
won't believe me."

As we chat it is clear Sharon, who fronts her own TV
show in America, holds her family as the most important
thing in her life. She is overjoyed at Ozzy's recovery
and was delighted when he started asking about their
children. "I really knew he was getting back to himself
when he started asking how the kids were and where they
were. That is what is important to him and me. Then he
started asking about our dogs as well - and I knew that
I had got Ozzy back."

Although she was delighted by her husband's speedy
recovery, Sharon was dismayed when he decided to discharge
himself from hospital on Christmas Eve. She says: "When I
got the phone call to say he was checking himself out, I
was like, 'What?' Ozzy surprised even me with that. I mean,
nobody goes from intensive care straight home. They were
going to move him in two days into his own room where
they were going to nurse him for two weeks. He just would
not have it, there was just no way he would accept it."

It was 10am and Sharon was out Christmas shopping with
Kelly and Jack. She tried to delay picking Ozzy up - hoping
the doctors could persuade him to stay - but Ozzy had had
enough and at 6pm she picked him up from the hospital.

Sharon now hopes her family can look forward to a happier
2004. She says: "The doctors can't believe how quickly he
has recovered and that he is walking around."

And, referring to the fact her husband sleeps in a
hospital bed at their home, she adds: "It used to be me,
but now it is Ozzy in the bed. We seem to have a thing about
them in our house. We have had feast, famine and the plague
in this family. The only positive is that we have been
through so much as a couple that Ozzy's injuries are just
the latest little hurdle."

Although she wanted Ozzy to stay in hospital, Sharon
readily admits she did not get angry with him. And she
is delighted he is at home, where the chaos of everyday
life around the Osbournes continues.

"Just look at him," she says as Ozzy shuffles back into
the room, wearing tracksuit trousers with his left arm
in a sling and a neckbrace on. You just can't help but
love him and you cannot get angry. After everything
we've been through, it is just unbelievable the way
Ozzy is recovering.

"He is up and walking around, cracking jokes. He is
still f*****g bonkers and I love him."



Ozzy's Bodyguard - The Mirror Interview (1/5/2004)

OZZY Osbourne's bodyguard last night relived the moment he
saved his boss's life after watching him tumble down a
hillside on his quad-bike.

Until now, no one has known the full details of what exactly
happened on the day Ozzy almost died. Retired policeman Sam
Ruston's graphic account reveals just how close the rocker
came to death.

Sam, 45, who has worked for Ozzy for three years, says:
"I honestly thought Ozzy had died when I got to him that day.

"It was the most awful feeling watching my employer and
friend tumble down that hill and being able to do nothing
to prevent it.

"I had to give him heart massage and artificial respiration
twice before life came back into his body. I'm a modest
person and don't like to think I saved Ozzy's life. I'm
just glad that he has managed to get back to his amusing
self so soon.

"There was a moment when I thought we had lost him forever."

Sam revealed that he and Ozzy had gone out on the quad-bikes
to show an MTV film crew some new property and land that
Ozzy had bought next door to his mansion in Chalfont St
Peter, Bucks, on December 8.

"Ozzy was keen to show the crew his new land. I took Sharon's
bike, he took his and we set off into the fields. I somehow
felt I should go along with him in case someone got hurt.

"I remember him warning the crew to be careful of the bulls
in the field. He was being the usual, caring Ozzy.

"I flanked him the whole way. We were riding over a large area
and there were some very steep hills and a lower valley area.
Overall, the terrain is very uneven. There are also some
craters left by World War Two bombs.

"Ozzy came to the top of a hill and left the crew filming some
cattle. He then rode down the hill. Suddenly, he hit a pothole
and the front of the bike buried itself in the ground. The back
end of the bike shot up, throwing Ozzy over the handlebars.
I was horrified. He landed head first and started rolling,
followed by the bike. Eventually he stopped and the bike landed
on his back.

"Ozzy was face down in the dirt, his arm and leg twisted. I
rode down to him and turned him on to his side as fast as I could."

When Sam turned Ozzy over, the singer had turned purple and his
eyes had rolled back.

Sam recalls: "There was no sign of life. He was not breathing,
there was no heartbeat, nothing.

"I stuck my fingers in his mouth because he had swallowed his
tongue. Then I pinched his nose and gave four good breaths into
his mouth. I watched his chest rise, then thankfully Ozzy started
to cough. He was vomiting and spluttering. I noticed blood in his
saliva which told me he had a punctured lung.

"Ozzy lay back down and it was clear he was failing again. I
followed the same routine as before and gave him CPR. Although
he was breathing he went into seizure and started convulsing.

"Every now and then he would say, 'I'm all right', before having
another seizure. He was in shock and totally unaware of his
surroundings, but was trying to get up off the ground and stand
up. I told him to lie down, but he was shouting and cursing
saying 'Get the f*** off me'. I was worried he would injure
himself by moving. At one point he managed to stand up - I am
certain he was having an adrenalin-fuelled reaction.

"I got the MTV crew to radio the house for an ambulance, but
was told it couldn't reach the field. I realised there was
nothing for it but to get him on my bike and back to the house."
So Sam hoisted Ozzy on to his quad-bike, as the singer
continually asked him: "What the f*** happened?''

Sam continues: "I sat him on the seat behind me. He had his
good arm over my shoulder and the other one around my waist.
Finally we got him to the ambulance and they stretchered
him on board. They gave him medical attention for about
10 minutes before rushing him to Wexham Park Hospital. In
the ambulance he was still talking and at times joking,
which was incredible. Then he would complain of pains
in his chest and arms. But I'm not surprised Ozzy doesn't
remember anything. He was in total shock."

Sam stayed with Ozzy in hospital for nearly two weeks
and was relieved when the star emerged from his coma
after eight days.

"He was still very confused but I was glad he was going
to be OK," says Sam. "The minute he woke up he was trying
to get out of bed. But that's Ozzy for you. He is not one
to stand still! I have told Ozzy exactly what happened
that day but he is not ready to take it in right now.
He has thanked me several times for what I did that day
and told me that he loves me.

"He is one of the warmest and funniest people I have ever
met and I am so glad he is alive and recovering.

"I would never have been able to live with myself if he
had died that day."

OZZY suffered eight broken ribs, smashed his left collar
bone in several places, cracked a vertebra in his neck
and suffered bruising to his heart and lungs.

When his collar bone was smashed it cut into the main
artery at the top of the arm, cutting off circulation.
Doctors had to lift the collarbone off the artery before
performing an "artery grab" operation, taking an artery
from his lower left arm and grafting into his upper arm.
They warned Sharon that if the operation did not work Ozzy
could lose his arm. The singer also had a seven-inch steel
plate inserted into his collar bone, which is held in
place by 10 screws.

Doctors have told him he will have to wear his neck brace
for three months to prevent his vertebra jolting, which
could paralyse him. Ozzy's arm will be in a sling for
two months and it will be four months until he is fully
recovered.



New Years With Ozzy & Sharon: The Mirror (1/5/2004)

IT'S New Year's Eve and we are invited to spend the night
with The Osbournes.

We are greeted at the door of their mansion by a beaming
Sharon who guides us towards a team of waiters handing out
champagne, cocktails and soft drinks.

Tucked away in the couple's oak-panelled TV room sits Ozzy,
holding court with a group of friends, bemoaning the state
of British television.

"I can't believe the crap that's been on TV this Christmas,"
he declares. "I have had the worst Christmas ever and there's
nothing decent on telly to keep me interested.

"I can't go out, I can't fly to the sunshine in LA, and
I'm not drinking.

And I'm stuck in a neckbrace that is the most uncomfortable
contraption ever.

"When I'm better I'm going to invest millions inventing a
neckbrace that's actually bloody comfortable."

Ozzy and Sharon have invited 30 close friends and family
for a New Year's celebration at their stunning Victorian
pile in the heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside. And
the couple are determined to make it a night to remember.
Ozzy stays seated for most of the evening but entertains
everyone by recounting his time in hospital.

Sipping his favourite Orangina and nibbling on beautifully
presented canapes, Ozzy jokes with guests about his recent
brush with death.

"I know I'm lucky to have escaped so lightly. The other
day Jack came back and told how he met a friend who makes
crash test dummies. That's my new job sorted out then," he
says, cackling.

The highlight of the evening comes at 10pm when partygoers
are invited onto the terrace to watch an awesome 20,000
fireworks display.

Ozzy stands transfixed as Sharon drapes her arms around him.
Classical music blasts around the 320-acre estate as the
sky lights up in a blaze of colour. Afterwards guests
admire a series of exquisitely-crafted ice sculptures,
some engraved with Ozzy's name.

At midnight, guests gather in a circle to sing Auld Lang
Syne in the sitting room as Ozzy watches, smiling from
his seat in front of the roaring fire.

Sharon, the perfect hostess, mingles with guests but is
never far from her husband's side. If he goes to the next
room for a lie down, she follows.

"If anything happened to him, I would die. I just couldn't
bear it. He's my soulmate," she confides, before kissing
everyone at the party in turn.

Throughout the evening it is clear friends have helped
The Osbournes through their troubled times.

And all the staff - many who have worked for the couple
for up to 25 years - are invited to join the bash as
friends rather than workers.

They join other guests in feasting on nibbles, including
miniature ice-creams, baby burgers and mini Yorkshire
puddings presented on giant glass trays.

The couple hope the party draws a line under the last
two years when they have been beset with bad luck and
ill health.

Earlier they told us how they spent a subdued Christmas
Day at home with son Jack, daughter Kelly and close family
friends. Sadly, Ozzy was not well enough to join his
family at the dinner table. Instead he ate his Christmas
dinner lying on the sofa, watching telly.

Sharon says: "It wasn't a great Christmas even though it
was nice to have him home. We all felt guilty laughing
and joking around the table knowing he was in pain in
the other room.

"The kids have been really great and Kelly and her dad
are so close. The first night that Daddy came home
she just wanted to be his nurse. She did everything
for him. She slept on the floor by his bed and was up
with him for most of the night.

"Now we have to wait for Ozzy to get back to normal.
He has done amazingly well to progress so fast but he
does need to slow down."

Ozzy butts in: "That's not so f***ing easy, you know.
I'm Ozzy Osbourne and I'm f***ing mad! It's no fun
spending Christmas Day watching shitty repeats of
Morecambe and Wise and Des O'Connor. Talking of telly,
Pop Idol is a load of shite too. When that Michelle
McManus won it I thought I was watching two tellies
she was so big!

"I've always thought Christmas was a load of shite
and a waste of money, and this year has been truly
f***ing dreadful.

"I came back to England for the first time in 20
months to promote the single with Kelly and spend
Christmas with my family at home.

"I didn't f***ing plan to get on that bike and have
that f***ing accident in the forest. Now I'm stuck
here like a f***ing puppet who can't move of his accord."

Sharon is eager to thank the fellow celebrities who
helped to make their Christmas special. Elton John
phoned as he had done every day since Ozzy's accident
and David Beckham sent Ozzy a signed Real Madrid football
shirt from the last game he played in. Veteran rocker
Alice Cooper sent his friend some colouring-in books
to keep Ozzy occupied while he was laid up in bed.

"You really find out who your friends are at a time
like this," says Sharon. "Elton has been a rock and
David was so thoughtful. We are so lucky to have such
great friends.

"We would also like to thank the public and our fans
who have sent in loads of cards and messages. They even
wished Ozzy well in the Houses of Parliament - which
was so touching. At the other end of the scale, I opened
a gift for Ozzy at the hospital. It was this little
stone and three little girls had made a plasticine
frog for Ozzy."

Ozzy chips in: "The support has really helped us get
through all the shit we've had to deal with. I would
like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart."

As soon as Ozzy is well enough the couple plan to fly
back to LA and begin filming another series of The
Osbournes. Sharon has her own chat show to film and
Ozzy is eager to get back into the recording studio
and on tour.

He admits he would far rather be starting 2004 sitting
in the California sun. "I know I'm lucky to be here and
doing so well but I just think I'd recover better out
there. Here it's dark when you go to bed and dark when
you wake up. When you can't do very much you lose all
track of time and that's really depressing.

"Maybe this accident has been a blessing in disguise
because I'd have never f***ing slowed down if it was
up to me. All my life I have worked, worked and worked.
I just have to face the fact that I'm bloody 55."

Just after midnight we say our farewells to Ozzy and
thank him for spending two long days with us.
"F***ing 'ell are you going?" he booms. "I thought
you'd f***ing moved in!"