BBC newsreader George Alagiah tests positive for coronavirus

Katy Clifton
PA

George Alagiah has shared a message of encouragement with fellow cancer patients after testing positive for Covid-19.

The BBC newsreader, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2014 and again in December 2017, said that “if I can live with cancer, I can certainly live with Covid-19.”

He told BBC News At Six: “I don’t want to trivialise because I seem to have had a mild dose, but actually, the very fact that we (cancer patients) are living with cancer I think gives us an edge.

“We’ve confronted those difficult, dark moments in our life.

“And in some ways, I think that we, those of us living with cancer, are stronger because we kind of know what it is like to go into something where the outcomes are uncertain.

“And I certainly feel that having had that experience, in my case six years as a cancer patient, I went into this feeling actually quite strong, if I can live with cancer, I can certainly live with Covid-19.”

Alagiah had decided earlier this month that he was going to stop appearing on air from the studio amid the virus outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.

On Tuesday, Alagiah said his wife Fran has also experienced coronavirus symptoms.

The presenter said: “She’s been through it a little bit and it’s kind of lasted a bit longer.

“There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for how this plays out in individuals.

“I don’t want to make light of it, because right now, Sophie, you and I both know there are people out there who are really finding this tricky, families going through a very anxious time.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.