Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley passed on their well wishes to BBC newsreader George Alagiah, who is taking a break from work to deal with a ‘further spread of cancer’.
A rep for Alagiah, 65, announced on Monday that the journalist would be taking some time off from television to focus on battling his health issues.
The presenter was first diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and again in 2017.
Addressing the news, Susanna said on Good Morning Britain: ‘We just want to send our very best wishes to a television legend, that is the BBC newsreader and journalist George Alagiah because he has said he’s going to take another break from television to deal with a further spread of cancer.’
Her co-host Richard commended Alagiah on his professionalism in continuing to present the news while privately going through serious health problems, and weighed in: ‘You have to say on camera you wouldn’t think he was battling a serious illness, he looks fantastic on camera and he’s totally on top of his game in his interviews and his links and everything, and we do wish him the very best.’
He added: ‘See you back really soon,’ as Susanna agreed: ‘You’re absolutely right.
In a statement, Alagiah’s agent said: ‘George Alagiah, presenter of BBC News At Six, Britain’s most watched news programme, is to take a break from studio duties to deal with a further spread of cancer.
‘He was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in April 2014. In a letter to colleagues in the newsroom Mr Alagiah said his medical team had decided to hit the new tumour “hard and fast”.’
They went on: ‘He is due to undergo a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next few months.
‘He added that working on the programme “has kept me sane over the last few years” and “I’m determined to come back”.’
Alagiah, who fronts BBC News at Six, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy. He later said it had spread to his lymph nodes and liver. He returned to presenting duties in 2015 after making progress against the disease, and said he was a “richer person” for it.
His cancer returned in December 2017, and the presenter underwent further treatment before once again returning to work.
Doctors discovered last year the cancer had also spread to his lungs in April after he tested positive for coronavirus in March.
Alagiah told The Times last year: ‘My doctors have never used the word “chronic” or “cure” about my cancer.
‘They’ve never used the word “terminal” either. I’ve always said to my oncologist, “Tell me when I need to sort my affairs out”, and he’s not told me that, but what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs.’
He added: ‘I said to my doctor, “You’re going to have to do the worrying for me.” I don’t want to fill my mind with worry. I just know that he’s a clever guy, doing everything he can.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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