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BBC's George Alagiah takes break from TV after further spread of cancer

·2-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Long-time BBC News anchor George Alagiah is to take a break from presenting "to deal with a further spread of cancer", his agent has confirmed.

Alagiah, who frequently leads the BBC's news coverage, is due to take time away from "studio duties" following the discovery of a "new tumour". The journalist and author was first diagnosed with bowel cancer seven years ago in April 2014.

In a statement, George's agent explained: "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."

Confirming that Alagiah's career break will be temporary, the newsreader's agent added that George has credited his work for BBC News as keeping him "sane over the last few years". "I'm determined to come back," he is quoted as saying (via The Guardian).

Photo credit: Murray Sanders/Daily Mail/Press Association Images
Photo credit: Murray Sanders/Daily Mail/Press Association Images

This isn't the first time George Alagiah has resumed treatment for cancer. In 2018, the presenter confirmed that the disease had spread to other parts of his body, appearing on-air just hours after his diagnosis was revealed.

Last year, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Alagiah was forced to pause presenting duties "on a balance of risk".

"Absolutely gutted," he told Twitter followers in March of last year. "After talking to colleagues and doctors I've decided to stay away from the newsroom.

"I'm on a few weeks cancer treatment break at the moment but, on a balance of risks, we all decided I must heed the advice for those with underlying health issues."

Five months later, Alagiah thanked fans for their support after his "first newsroom appearance in a couple of months". He added: "The chemo was tough so all the sweeter to feel well enough now to do what I enjoy."

We hope to see you back again soon, George.

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