First Dates’ Merlin Griffiths suffers ‘frustrating’ setback amid cancer battle

Merlin Griffiths has opened up on his ongoing cancer battle, explaining that he's on doctor's orders not to overdo his activity after a "setback".

The First Dates star was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in September 2021 and has been updating his fans regularly ever since the devastating news.

In April, he went in for life-saving surgery, but he's now revealed he's been back in hospital for several more procedures since then after experiencing some complications.

Speaking the the Metro, 46 year old Merlin explained: "I was operated on in April, late April, as you might recall. It’s been a long, slow road to recovery. I got myself up and around [because] you’re supposed to do what’s called active recovery these days."

Singing his praises over how "amazing" the NHS is, Merlin went on to share: "That was all going well. I had a minor setback so I was in for a couple of procedures."

Merlin said that his body "doesn't heal the same way it used to" due to the radiotherapy treatment he's undergoing, which is where radiation is used to kill cancer cells.

The star explained that he's now taking it easy as he's "under strict surgeon’s orders not to overdo it so active recovery takes a backseat."

He added: "So the last six to eight weeks have been quite frustrating, largely having to cool my heels and not being able to do what I’d like to do. But otherwise, we are getting better. It’s a long, slow road, as anyone who’s going through cancer treatment knows."

Merlin hasn't left his optimism though as he said he's sure there's a "light at the end of the tunnel" as there "always is".

Luckily, he's not going through this situation on his own as his friends and colleagues from First Dates, including Fred Sirieix and Cici Coleman, have been supporting him all the way through.

Gushing over them, he said: "They’ve been brilliant. Fred and I chat very regularly, at least once a month we’re on the phone and he constantly texts me as well, to get little updates to see what’s going on.

"Likewise with Cici and Grant and David and Daniella, they all check in with me as well, which is lovely."

"It's nice to know they care," he added. "It’s important. It makes me feel much better."


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