‘It can come for anybody’: Rhod Gilbert speaks out about cancer diagnosis in first TV appearance of 2023

Rhod Gilbert has spoken out about being diagnosed with stage four cancer in his first TV appearance since receiving the news.

The comedian and presenter first announced that he was being treated for cancer in July, sharing that he was receiving treatment at the same cancer centre he’d previously raised money for.

Gilbert appeared during the Channel 4 broadcast of the National Comedy Awards on Friday (17 February) in a segment advertising the fundraising initiative Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Speaking about his experience, he pointed out his years of raising money for cancer research prior to his diagnosis.

“I’ve led five fundraising treks all over the world, I do stand-up comedy nights to raise money, I hosted quizzes,” he explained.

“[Cancer fundraising has] been a big part of my life for the last 10 years, so imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with cancer.

“Which p***ed me off no end, because I thought I’d have life-long immunity! Apparently not,” he added.

“Apparently you’re just as likely to get cancer even if you spend your time fundraising for a cancer hospital. Anyway, I did get it, and it turns out it can come for anybody.”

Rhod Gilbert during Stand Up 2 Cancer segment (Channel 4)
Rhod Gilbert during Stand Up 2 Cancer segment (Channel 4)

Elsewhere in the segment, he confirmed that he’d been diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Previously, Gilbert hadn’t detailed where the cancer in his body was but had shared that his symptoms included a sore throat and tightness in his neck.

“Couldn’t get to the bottom of it, turns out after a biopsy of this lump in my neck that I have something called head and neck cancer, cancer of the head, sounded pretty serious,” he said in the clip, pre-recorded from his home.

Earlier this year, the comic admitted that he was still processing the news of his diagnosis, and that he hadn’t quite worked out what to say about the situation.

“I’m more than happy to talk about it but I haven’t had time to process it at all,” he told The Guardian.

However, the comedian also revealed that he has written 250 pages of new material for his next stand-up shows.