First Dates’ barman Merlin Griffiths reveals he’s been diagnosed with bowel cancer


‘I’m keeping a positive outlook’: First Dates’ barman Merlin Griffiths reveals he’s been diagnosed with bowel cancer and faces a year of treatment

  • Merlin Griffiths is battling bowel cancer and was told by doctors he has a 75% chance of living for more than five years 
  • The First Dates star received his diagnosis after doctors found a 4.5cm stage three tumour 
  • Merlin has a seven-year-old daughter called Alix with his partner Lucille who he has been with for more than a decade 
  • He says that he will remain positive and put his faith in the NHS to cure him of the cancer


First Dates’ barman Merlin Griffiths has revealed he is battling bowel cancer after receiving a bleak diagnosis from doctors at Northampton General Hospital. 

The 46-year-old was told he has a 75% chance of living for more than five years after medical tests unearthed a stage three tumour that measured 4.5cm in length.   

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Merlin said: ‘I’m keeping that positive outlook, but I’ve a morbid sense of humour. I tell people, “I have colorectal cancer… it’s a real pain in the ar*e!”

First Dates’ barman Merlin Griffiths has revealed he is battling bowel cancer after recieving a bleak diagnosis from doctors

Merlin has a seven-year-old daughter called Alix with his partner Lucille, 40, who he has been with for more than a decade and will be by his side as he faces a year of life-saving treatment. 

When the barman told his young daughter of the troubling diagnosis he reassured her of the powers of modern medicine and gushed about the public healthcare system. 

He said: ‘I have so much faith in medicine and the NHS in this country, which is just so incredible.’ 

Keeping his emotions behind closed doors, Merlin admitted: ‘I’ve shed a tear in private. But you can choose “to do” or “not to do”. I chose to lead my life as normal, to stick to the facts about it, and to keep putting one step in front of the other.’

The 46-year-old was told he has a 75% chance of living for more than five years after medical tests unearthed a stage three tumour that measured 4.5cm in length

The 46-year-old was told he has a 75% chance of living for more than five years after medical tests unearthed a stage three tumour that measured 4.5cm in length

The TV personality, who became a household name alongside Fred Sirieix in the First Dates restaurant, started to feel pain in June but thought it was caused by an old stomach injury from a car accident in his 20s.

Merlin was diagnosed with bowel cancer six weeks ago and said his tumour looked like an alien and felt like a walnut stuck inside of him. 

Doctors discovered the tumour when they gave the barman an emergency sigmoidoscopy to probe his lower intestine after the star spent three months telling people he felt something wrong in his body. 

Merlin admitted he was terrified by the ordeal but immediately focused on his chances of surviving following his diagnosis.  

The star revealed that his tumour wanted to move into the tissue surrounding it but wasn’t ‘lymph’ – meaning the cancer thankfully hadn’t spread.  

Merlin told his co-workers in the First Dates restaurant, including maitre d’hotel Fred Sirieix, and waiters Grant Urquhart and CiCi Coleman, about his diagnosis just a week after he told his family. 

The barman admitted his peers were shocked and couldn’t help but question why bad things happen to good people.  

Merlin will appear on Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer Live show next month to talk about fighting the disease. 

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