Stephen Hawking hospitalised in Rome

Hawking in Rome's Gemelli hospital for checks.

British physicist Stephen Hawking was hospitalised in Rome as a precautionary measure after falling ill on the evening of 1 December, however his condition is not believed to be serious.

The celebrated 74-year-old cosmologist, who suffers from motor neurone disease, was taken to Rome's Gemelli hospital, which is best known as the pope's official hospital.

Professor Hawking attended a conference at the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences on 28 November, during which he met Pope Francis, but his illness prevented him from speaking at a conference at the city's Belgian Academy on 2 December.

Hawking is the author of ground-breaking bestseller A Brief History of Time and the inspiration for the recent film The Theory of Everything.