BROADCASTER Richard Bacon is fighting for his life in a medically induced coma after contracting a mystery respiratory virus, The Sun can reveal.

The former Blue Peter host has been in a critical condition for a week, after initially being diagnosed with pneumonia across both lungs.

But doctors were forced to take emergency action after he failed to respond to treatment.

A source close to Richard explained: “This is an extremely worrying time for everyone who loves him.

“Doctors started treating him for pneumonia but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t working and his condition took a dramatic turn for the worse.

“They had no choice but to put him into a medically induced coma to save his life because things spiralled so fast, but that was a week ago and they are no closer to finding out what is wrong with him or how to help him.

“It’s touch and go, and extremely upsetting for everyone who loves him. They are beside themselves with worry.”

The LA-based radio host, 42, was stretchered off a flight from the US last week.

The dad-of-two tweeted from Lewisham Hospital, South East London, last Thursday, writing: “Thank God I got ill in Britain (actually on the way to Britain, was taken off the plane in a wheelchair).

“F*** all the ideology driven politicians who’ve messed up America’s healthcare system.

“Viva the NHS. Happy 70th.He was seen with nine wires strapped to his chest as he lay in a hospital bed.”

He also shared a worrying photo of him with nine wires strapped across his chest as he lay in a hospital bed.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung and symptoms include dry coughs, chest pain, fever and trouble breathing.

He admitted he had been surprised by the diagnosis, adding: “ I thought that was for people in their 80s.”

Richard and wife Rebecca McFarlane, the daughter of Barclays’ chairman John, have two children, Arthur and Ivy.

It comes just four months after he revealed he had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), saying it had given him understanding about why he took drugs as a Blue Peter presenter nearly 20 years ago.

Richard, who is now in LA working for Fox TV, said his ADHD condition had improved and his infamous sacking from the BBC in 1998 wouldn’t have happened had he been diagnosed when he was younger.

He said: “I’m so much better, I’m sleeping a lot better, only drinking a couple of times a week and a lot less.

“If I’d been diagnosed in my twenties the cocaine debacle wouldn’t have happened.

“But now I can change and be a good father and husband.”