Newsman Martin Bell had skull rebuilt by surgeons after tripping over at Gatwick

Former BBC newsman Martin Bell had his shattered skull rebuilt by surgeons after a freak accident at Gatwick Airport.

The longtime war correspondent, 80, was left seriously injured after he tripped over suitcases back in November.

The accident happened as he was on his way home from a cruise when he fell at the airport’s train station and he was rushed to East Surrey hospital in Redhill.

He was later transferred to a specialist hospital in London where he underwent surgery to reconstruct the broken bones in his face and head.

Bell told the Evening Standard he now looks decades younger after the operation, joking: "[I look] like I’ve had Botox."

He said: "I have come through 18 wars almost unscathed and I trip up at a railway station.

"I have no-one else to blame for this. I feel a complete idiot.”

I was not a pretty sight [after the accident].

"I looked like Dracula’s grandfather.”

Doctors used four surgical plates and 16 screws to re-attach his upper mouth to his jawbone and repair the damaged bones.

The operation took more than two and a half hours, but was deemed a success and Bell has since made a full recovery.

He has nothing but praise for the NHS staff at both hospitals who took such good care of him.

Bell is best known for his coverage of the Vietnam and Gulf wars as well as the Bosnia conflict in the 1990s.

He was famously wounded by shrapnel while reporting in Sarajevo.

After working as a BBC journalist for many years, he went on to become an MP, serving Tatton in Cheshire from 1997 until 2001.

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