BBC newsreader George Alagiah has admitted cancer will probably “get him in the end” in a heartbreaking update on his health.
Alagiah was forced to step down from BBC News amid his continued treatment for cancer,
Despite the devastating update, the 66-year-old who was first diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in April 2014, has said he feels “lucky” for the life he has lived.
George Alagiah shares devastating update on cancer diagnosis
In a conversation with Craig Oliver, for the former Downing Street director of communications’ podcast Desperately Seeking Wisdom, Alagiah discussed living with the disease.
He said: “I don’t think I’m going to be able to get rid of this thing. I’ve got the cancer still. It’s growing very slowly.
“My doctor’s very good at every now and again hitting me with a big red bus full of drugs, because the whole point about cancer is it bloody finds a way through and it gets you in the end.
“Probably… it will get me in the end. I’m hoping it’s a long time from now, but I’m very lucky.”
He added that when he was first diagnosed with cancer, it took him a while to understand what he “needed to do”.
He said: “I had to stop and say, Hang on a minute. If the full stop came now, would my life have been a failure?
“And actually, when I look back at my journey…the family I had, the opportunities my family had, the great good fortune to bump into Frances Robathan, who’s now been my wife and lover for all these years, the kids that we brought up…it didn’t feel like a failure.”
George confirmed he was taking a break from BBC in October.
A statement from Alagiah’s agent said he “is to take a break from studio duties to deal with a further spread of cancer”.
She added: “He was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in April 2014. In a letter to colleagues in the newsroom Mr Alagiah said his medical team had decided to hit the new tumour ‘hard and fast’.
“He is due to undergo a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next few months.
“He added that working on the programme ‘has kept me sane over the last few years’ and ‘I’m determined to come back’.”