George Alagiah To Take Break From BBC News After Suffering ‘Further Spread’ Of Cancer

The presenter was first diagnosed with the illness in 2014 and again in 2017.

George Alagiah is to take a break from his presenting duties at BBC News as he deals with “a further spread of cancer”, his agent has said.

The 65-year-old broadcaster was first diagnosed with the illness in 2014 and again in 2017.

After spending a period of time off screens, the presenter returned to BBC News At Six following his previous treatment.

A statement from his agent said he “is to take a break from studio duties to deal with a further spread of cancer”.

George Alagiah
George Alagiah
Jeff Overs/BBC via PA Media

She added: “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’.

“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’.”

The Sri Lanka-born news reader underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat his advanced bowel cancer in 2014.

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.

Last year he tested positive for coronavirus after deciding to stop appearing in the studio during the outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.