20 September 2021, 11:00
By Capital FM
Bartender Merlin Griffiths has revealed his battle with bowel cancer and how his First Dates co-stars have reacted to the heartbreaking news.
First Dates bartender Merlin Griffiths has revealed he is battling bowel cancer after being diagnosed six weeks ago.
The barman, who is a fan-favourite on the Channel 4 dating show, explained that he's set to face a year of treatment, with doctors telling him he has a 75% chance of living beyond five years.
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The 46-year-old vowed that he “won’t let it get the better of me”.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Merlin said: “The tumour has breached the colon. It’s wanting to move into the tissues surrounding it. But importantly, it hasn’t got into the lymph yet, meaning it’s not spread."
Merlin revealed that he told his First Dates co-stars and good pals just a week after his diagnosis as he detailed their heartbreaking reactions.
Speaking on frontman of the show and maitre d’hotel Fred Sirieix, Merlin said: “Fred was lovely and encouraging. He asked me how it has changed my life.
“I told him, ‘You either let it or you don’t. If you let it, it can take you down some pretty dark places’."
"I want to stack the decks in my favour, which means I’m going to remain broadly positive and resilient,” he added.
He also told Grant Urquhart and CiCi Coleman, adding: “CiCi and Grant were both shocked. Grant said, ‘Christ, man, this sort of thing always seems to happen to the best of people’. That was very sweet."
A post shared by Merlin Griffiths (@merlinfdc4)
Merlin also opened up about the heartbreaking moment he told his “incredibly upset” wife Lucile and his daughter Alix, aged 7, about the diagnosis.
“I said, 'Dad's got cancer'. She said, 'Is that bad, Dad?' I said, 'Yes, it's very serious but I think it should be OK. Modern medicine's great and if anything changes I'll let you know.'
"She understands that people can die but I told her cancer comes in different varieties and in different ways too – and that many people come through it."
Merlin first began getting stomach pain in June, however, he first put it down to scar tissue in his stomach from a car accident when he was 20.
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