Rhod Gilbert returned to comedy for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer, revealing his greatest fear via his characteristic black humour.
The 55-year-old comedian kicked off Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer: The Takeover on Friday, joking that ‘dying on stage’ was preferable to ‘dying alone on a hospital floor.’
He quipped: ‘Tonight’s show is coming from you completely live, and although the prospect of dying on stage in front of millions of viewers is terrifying.
‘For the last year, I’ve been more scared of dying alone on a hospital floor in a pool of my own urine.’
As the audience vocalised their sadness over the remark, Rhod continued: ‘You don’t have to aw me! I’m alright about and you should be too.
‘Being a live show it can go either way, which are incidentally also the words my doctors used this time last year.
‘I’m here because for the last year, I’ve had cancer and now I don’t! It was in my tonsils, neck, and tongue.’
Rhod has gradually returned to the spotlight since being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year.
He received an outpouring of love from BBC viewers earlier this week after delivering his first TV interview since being diagnosed.
On The One Show, Rhod gave an update, saying proudly that he’s ‘happy to be alive’, but also said he would always have ‘symptoms.’
‘I’ll always have symptoms and things, from head and neck cancer, the treatment’s quite rough, there’ll always be the niggly symptoms but, broadly, I feel wonderful!’ he said.
Rhod also announced his enormous tour return, with a large list of performances stretching well into 2025.
Rhod Gilbert And The Giant Grapefruit will begin playing gigs in January 2024 and will make his final joke in November of the following year.
He shared that he planned to complete 110 dates by the end of the run with his agent confirming: ‘It’s a show about navigating the dark bits and turning life’s giant grapefruits into something approaching lemonade’.
After being diagnosed with cancer, the Welsh actor said that he was receiving treatment for head and neck cancer at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, a facility for which he had donated funds and supported for ten years.
At the time, he assured followers that he was in the ‘best possible hands’ and thanked the ‘amazing’ NHS professionals who were caring for him.
Later that month, Rhod obtained his first clean scan, which he described as “the best day of my life.”
Stand Up to Cancer: The Takeover is available to stream on Channel 4.