ENTERTAINMENT
23/01/2019 17:30 GMT | Updated 23/01/2019 17:50 GMT

BBC Newsreader George Alagiah Returns To 'News At Six' A Year After Being Told His Cancer Had Come Back

He says his cancer is now "in a holding pattern".

BBC newsreader George Alagiah has returned to work, a year after being told his cancer had come back

The journalist, who was first diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2014, said the disease is “in a holding pattern” after colleague Sophie Raworth revealed he would be presenting Wednesday’s ‘News At Six’. 

Responding to her announcement at the end of Tuesday’s bulletin, he tweeted: “There goes my hopes of slipping back into the studio unnoticed! Thanks to all for good wishes.

“We’ve got the cancer in a holding pattern so it’s back to work with colleagues I respect and the viewers who make it worthwhile.”

Sophie later tweeted a picture of him back in the BBC newsroom, writing: “Back with a beard...1st time on air since December 2017.”

A BBC News spokesperson added: “Everyone at the BBC is delighted to see George back in the studio where he belongs.”  

George was first diagnosed with the disease, which had spread to his liver and lymph nodes, in April 2014.

He endured 17 rounds of chemotherapy and several operations, including the removal of most of his liver.

He finished treatment in October 2015, and returned to work on BBC News just two weeks later.

However, he told his Twitter followers the disease had returned in January 2018, admitting it was “tough dealing with disappointment”, despite “always knowing” the cancer could come back. 

Charity Bowel Cancer UK said the disease kills nearly 16,000 people every year in the UK. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, behind lung cancer.

There is less than a 10 percent chance of survival over five years for those who are diagnosed at stage four, like George was.  

Last year, the journalist questioned why the screening age for the disease is at 60 in England when Scots can be tested from 50, lamenting the fact his cancer would have been caught earlier if he lived in Scotland. 

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