'First Dates' barman Merlin Griffiths thanks NHS after operation to remove tumour

·Contributor
·2-min read
Merlin Griffiths has been a fixture behind the bar of popular reality show First Dates. (Channel 4)
Merlin Griffiths has been a fixture behind the bar of popular reality show First Dates. (Channel 4)

Merlin Griffiths has thanked the NHS for "literally saving my life" after he had an operation to remove a tumour from his bowel.

The 47-year-old, who is best known as the barman on Channel 4 dating show First Dates, posted a selfie from his hospital bed on Friday after the operation.

Read more: Fred Sirieix says chef is not important person in restaurant

Griffiths announced in September that he had been diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer and vowed to the Sunday Mirror that he would "remain broadly positive and resilient", whatever the news he received from doctors.

The star posted to Instagram after his surgery, writing: "Tubes outta everywhere. Aches and pains. But no tumour."

Griffiths received numerous messages from celebrity well-wishers on Instagram, with First Dates waitress CiCi Coleman sharing several heart emojis in her comment.

David Marc, who is also one of the show's waiters, wrote that he was delighted to hear the "fantastic news" that the surgery had been successful.

Read more: Gail Porter said she was turned down for Celebrity First Dates

Griffiths previously said doctors had given him a 75% chance of survival beyond five years, but that curing him completely was the aim.

The star said he had "so much faith in medicine and the NHS in this country", which gave him faith that he was in safe hands.

First Dates has aired on Channel 4 since 2013. (Channel 4)
First Dates has aired on Channel 4 since 2013. (Channel 4)

Pub landlord and mixologist Griffiths has been a part of First Dates ever since the show was first broadcast by Channel 4 in 2013.

His role is to look after the daters and serve them a drink after they are welcomed by maître d' Fred Sirieix, while they wait for their match to arrive.

Read more: Fred Sirieix 'vomiting' and 'bleeding' after Strictly training

First Dates has aired more than 130 episodes over the course of the last decade, as well as spawning spin-off shows including Teen First Dates and First Dates Hotel.

The show recently relocated to The Refinery in the Spinningfields area of Manchester after seven years filming at Paternoster Chop House in London.

Watch: Soap stars take on First Dates for Children in Need

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