star Merlin Griffiths has revealed he ignored the early signs of bowel and ‘tried to convince’ himself that the pain he was feeling ‘wasn’t important’.
The 47-year-old, who works as the barman on the popular programme, announced he had been last year.
Last month, Merlin announced he’s ‘back home’ after being hospitalised with ‘complications’ relating to his illness, which came after he underwent .
Now, Merlin has opened up about ignoring the early signs of cancer, waiting months before he saw a doctor.
When he did see a doctor, Merlin’s cancer had reached stage three.
He admitted: ‘It was that typical male reticence thing of going – “oh I’m fine”, “it’s nothing really”, “I’ll be alright.”
‘I tried to convince myself that the pain just wasn’t important.’
He continued to : ‘I managed to pull the wool over my own eyes for a worryingly long time.’
Merlin urged anyone with concerns to ‘tackle the issues’, saying they should ‘not be embarrassed’.
‘Believe me, doctors have seen it all – I should know.’
Earlier today, Merlin spoke about his recovery on BBC Breakfast, saying it’s ‘long and slow’.
‘On the road to recovery, it’s long and slow but we’ll get there.’
He added: ‘I should have got there earlier but I did get there. I think it’s very important that people follow up these symptoms. The sooner you catch it better it is for you.’
He elsewhere shared how he broke the news to his child, saying he ‘did it very frankly and honestly.’
‘I think much like doctors will speak to patients. You literally have to say the truth as it is.
‘I tried to sweep it under the carpet but I should have taken it more seriously.
‘The initial checks aren’t very invasive and are very easy and quick to do.’
Merlin thrilled fans with his appearances in the newest season of First Dates, after being in and out of hospital.
First Dates is available to watch on Channel 4.