Comedian Rhod Gilbert has announced he is receiving treatment at a cancer hospital he has supported for more than 10 years.
The 53-year-old Welsh star shared the news on Facebook a week after postponing the final shows of his current tour.
Gilbert, who has appeared on comedy TV series including Mock The Week, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Taskmaster and presented Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Rhod Gilbert’s Growing Pains and his own BBC Radio Wales show, said he is being treated at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and will be taking time to focus on his recovery.
“As a proud patron of Velindre Cancer Centre, I’ve trekked the world, hosted chaotic quizzes and star-studded comedy nights,” he said. “I’ve met and made friends with so many inspirational staff, patients and their families. It has been a huge part of my life for the last ten years.
“So while I never imagined that I would be a patient here, I know better than anyone that I am in the best possible hands. The NHS care I’m receiving is incredible.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone… but who knows, maybe I’ll come out the other end with a new stand-up show and a 40 minute rant about orange squash.”
Gilbert added: “Thank you everyone for your support over the last few weeks and months (and years). I’ll be disappearing for a while and won’t be commenting further, at least not for now, whilst I focus on my recovery.”
The comedian did not say what type of cancer he is receiving treatment for.
Ahead of a gig at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on 9 July, he announced it would be the last of his Book Of John tour and that he was postponing subsequent shows after suffering from neck and throat pain for several months.
In that Facebook post, he wrote: “As many of you will know, I’ve been struggling with pain in my neck and throat over the past few months. I’ve been receiving treatment, and have continued to tour where possible.
“I had sincerely hoped to go ahead with all dates as scheduled, but I’m afraid that is not going to be possible. I am due to have surgery next week and will be hanging up my boots for a while whilst I recuperate.”
Gilbert apologised and said work was under way to reschedule remaining shows for early 2023.
He added: “I know how frustrating this is. We do not take these decisions lightly, and we are so sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you all – along with all the wonderful venues and staff, for your patience and understanding.”
The Velindre Cancer Centre shared the comedian’s message and said: “For over 10 years, patron Rhod Gilbert has provided exceptional support for Velindre Cancer Charity and has always been an advocate for the passionate efforts of our Velindre Cancer Centre staff, donors and fundraisers.
“Rhod has become a special member of our Velindre Family and we are sure you will join us in sending him your very best wishes during this time.”
A post about Gilbert’s fundraising efforts on the charity’s fundraising page said he had helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the organisation over the years.
The star married his long-term partner, writer and comedian Sian Harries, in 2013.