Entertainment Celebrity Hugh Grant reveals coronavirus made him want to ‘sniff strangers’ armpits’
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Hugh Grant reveals coronavirus made him want to ‘sniff strangers’ armpits’

Hugh Grant said he wanted to smell armpits and sprayed perfume in his eyes when he realised he couldn't smell anything. Photo: Getty
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English actor Hugh Grant has revealed that he and his wife, Anna Eberstein, had both contracted the coronavirus in February.

Appearing on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the 60-year-old actor provided great detail about the strange and “embarrassing” symptoms he experienced while battling the virus.

Grant indicated he wasn’t tested for the virus at the time, but said it “became clear” he had COVID-19 when he started to experience a gambit of symptoms.

“I kept breaking into a terrible sweat. It was like a poncho of sweat, embarrassing really. And then my eye balls felt about three sizes too big,” Grant said.

After noticing these symptoms, he said he started to panic as he realised he had also lost his sense of smell.

“I was walking down the street one day and I thought, I can’t smell a damn thing. And you start to panic. Because by then people had just started to talk about this as a sort of symptom,” he said.

About half the people who contract the coronavirus will experience a loss of smell and/or taste, according to a study released in June.

In many cases, patients can experience a total loss of both senses.

Hopefully you have never caught yourself considering smelling a stranger’s armpit, but Grant said the thought occurred to him out of desperation when he realised he couldn’t smell anything.

“I started sniffing flowers – nothing. And you get more and more desperate. I started sniffing in garbage cans and then you know, you want to sniff strangers’ armpits, because you just can’t smell anything.”

The next logical step it seems, after trying to smell rubbish bins and armpits, was to spray perfume directly into his face.

“I eventually went home and sprayed my wife’s Chanel No. 5 directly into my face, couldn’t smell a thing, but I did go blind,” he joked.

Hugh Grant’s wife, Anna Eberstein, also tested positive for COVID antibodies. Photo: Getty

Antibody test proved suspicions correct

Colbert asked whether Grant was sure he had the coronavirus.

Grant said he and his wife had both had symptoms of the virus in winter, and had recently tested positive to antibody tests.

“We have antibodies, I’m rather proud of them. I got it in February, I had an antibody test only a month ago and I still have those antibodies, so I know that’s what it was.”

Grant dialled into the show via video link from London, which is under a strict lockdown.

You can watch the interview here.