First Dates Barman Merlin Griffiths Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

by : Chloe Rowland on : 18 Sep 2021 17:39
First Dates Barman Merlin Griffiths Reveals Cancer DiagnosisChannel 4

Merlin ­Griffiths, star of the smash hit Channel 4 dating show First Dates, has revealed he’s been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The 46-year-old announced the news in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, telling the outlet he was diagnosed 6 weeks ago.


According to Griffiths, doctors have given him a 75% chance of living beyond five years, with the star vowing to not let the illness ‘get the better of me.’

The barman explained that he started getting pain back in June, but initially brushed it off after thinking it was scar tissue in his stomach as a result of a car accident he was in aged 20. Eventually, a month later, his symptoms got so bad that he went to A&E, although he admits it ‘didn’t cross my mind it could be cancer’.

At the time, the scans revealed nothing, but eventually, following another trip to the GP and A&E, doctors discovered a 4.5cm Stage 3 tumour. Explaining what was going through his mind at the time, the star said: ‘I thought, as most people must when they get a diagnosis, ‘Oh f***, I’ve got cancer’.


‘I’ve shed a tear in private. But you can choose ‘to do’ or ‘not to do’. I chose to lead my life as normal, to stick to the facts about it, and to keep putting one step in front of the other.’

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the First Dates barman also recalled the devastating moment he had to tell his 7-year-old daughter Alix that he had cancer. ‘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’, he added.

The 46-year-old explained that his daughter ‘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’.

First Dates cast (Channel 4)Channel 4

The star says his oncologist hopes to remove the tumour in the next three months, along with more treatment to follow.

Griffiths has starred in the BAFTA-winning dating show since it first hit screens in 2013, and has remained one of the friendly first faces eager daters meet as they arrive at the restaurant.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week

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Chloe Rowland

Chloe Rowland is a Junior Sub Editor at UNILAD. She graduated from The University of Salford with a BA Multimedia Journalism degree in 2019 but has continued to use the fact she has a Blue Peter badge as her biggest flex.

Topics: News, no-article-matching, Now


  1. Mirror

    EXCLUSIVE: First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths battling cancer as doctors make grim diagnosis