BBC Radio 1 presenter Adele Roberts has announced she is to undergo surgery for bowel cancer.
Roberts, 42, who hosts Weekend Breakfast, said she was diagnosed at the start of the month and would have surgery to remove a tumour on Monday.
“So far the outlook is positive and I feel so lucky I can be treated. It’s just the start of my journey but I’m going to give it everything,” she said.
The former Big Brother star missed both her radio shows this weekend.
The radio DJ, from Southport, Merseyside, revealed her diagnosis in an Instagram post, saying she had sought medical advice after struggling with her digestion “for a while”.
She wrote: “It’s all happened so quickly and I’m so sorry to post something like this on here but I hope it helps anyone who might be worrying, or suffering in silence.
“As I’ve learned over the last few weeks, there’s no ‘normal’ with cancer. Sadly it can affect anyone, at any age, anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Early detection can save your life.”
She added: “I’m going to have surgery [on Monday] to remove the tumour and then see if I need anymore treatment or if the cancer has spread.
In her post, she finished by saying: “The hardest thing wasn’t even finding out I had cancer, it was telling my family. It broke my heart.
“If you know any of them please look after them for me until I can see them again. Especially my Katie (her girlfriend). I worry about her being on her own while I’m away.”
Her girlfriend, Kate Holderness, also wrote an emotional post on Sunday evening, calling Roberts “my hero, my world, my love”.
She explained that she couldn’t go with Roberts to the hospital or be there when she wakes up after her operation. “It’s the most horrible feeling desperately wanting her to get in that hospital ASAP but desperately not wanting to be without her.”
She said it had been hard to get her head around how “unfair” the diagnosis was as Roberts did “all the things they say help you prevent cancer” and didn’t do the things that were supposed to put you at higher risk.
“But I now understand it can happen to anyone. Cancer’s never fair is it?”
A Radio 1 statement said: “Our love and support is with Adele, Kate and their families at this very difficult time.
“Everyone at Radio 1, along with millions of listeners, wishes her a speedy recovery and we look forward to welcoming Adele back on air soon.”
Singer Jessie Ware and actress Suranne Jones were among those to send their support to Roberts on Instagram, along with some of her BBC colleagues.
Radio presenter Scott Mills wrote: “We all love you Adele. It’s amazing you posted this. You’re awesome and you’ve got this.”
Radio 2 broadcaster Sara Cox said Roberts was “brilliant and brave to share this to help people”, adding that she was sending her “a thousand gentle hugs”.
Roberts rose to fame after appearing on the third series of Channel 4’s Big Brother series in 2002. Contestants that year included ITV’s This Morning presenter Alison Hammond, and Jade Goody, who died in 2009 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
She joined the BBC in 2012 as part of the Radio 1Xtra team, before moving to Radio 1 in 2015 to host the Early Breakfast Show. She took over the Weekend Breakfast programme earlier this year.
She also appeared on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity in 2019, and was the first person in that series to be eliminated from the jungle.
What are bowel cancer symptoms?
- A persistent change in bowel habit – going more often, with looser stools and sometimes tummy pain
- Blood in the stools without other symptoms, such as piles
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer, but the NHS advice is to see your GP if you have one or more of the symptoms and they have persisted for more than four weeks.
And if you, or someone you know, have been affected by cancer, information and support is available on the BBC’s Action Line page.