Veteran actor William Shatner learned how quickly news spreads recently, when tabloid reporters caught wind of him falling ill before he'd even arrived at the hospital.

Last week (ends21OCT05), the Canadian actor was taken from the set of his hit TV show Boston Legal battling kidney stone pains, and he was shocked to learn how quickly the rest of the world found out about it.

He says, "I got in the ambulance and the sirens went off. The producer tells me that he saw me off, waved goodbye, went up to his office and the phone rang and it was a tabloid. Within 30 seconds of my leaving the studio (they called)!"

And Shatner even had to deal with the effects of his celebrity status once he arrived at the hospital in dire pain.

He adds, "I was there, shaking with pain. I'm sitting in the (room) and the doctor comes up and says, 'Can I have your autograph?'"