Celebrated stand-up comedian Rhod Gilbert shared positive news about his health, announcing that he had received his first all-clear cancer scan following a series of treatments. The Carmarthen-born artist conveyed in July of 2022 that he was battling the disease, seeking treatment at Velindre Cancer Centre located in Cardiff.
The 55-year-old comedian had been undergoing rigorous treatment for metastatic cancer focused on his head and neck region. This intensive treatment regime included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The announcement that his cancer had not metastasized was described by Gilbert as the “the best day of my life”.
Speaking to The Radio Times, Gilbert recalled how he received the news while on the road, “I got a call to say my latest scan had shown the cancer was in the areas they knew about, but it wasn’t in my lungs or my brain.” What followed was his maiden cancer scan that showed no traces of the disease.
Gilbert shared his relief stating, “The best thing was that the tumour had gone, and it was once again an ordinary blood vessel.” Days away from the onset of his treatment, Gilbert – a fundraising patron for Velindre for ten long years – invited a documentary crew to chronicle his journey.
He recollected the incident, “I was lying in bed on the Friday, with my treatment due to start the following Monday. I rang the team I knew – there was no broadcaster on board, it was all on spec and I asked: ‘How would you fancy joining me on this journey?'”
To Gilbert, having the team on board was not only about documenting his experience. It was a novel way of keeping himself occupied considering he had postponed all his TV commitments and tours to focus on his health. He quotes, “I knew I wouldn’t be well enough to go on stage or TV, but I thought I might be well enough to lie in bed and talk to a documentary team about how ill I was.”
His health ordeal began with the emergence of a tumour on his neck, detected on the day of a fundraising walk for Velindre Cancer Centre. The consequent treatment over several months left him too fatigued even to indulge in reading or television.
Despite the health setback, Gilbert boasts a rich professional repertoire including numerous sell-out live tours. He’s had appearances on popular shows like Would I Lie To You? and Mock The Week, and played host on Never Mind The Buzzcocks between 2014 and 2015.