Entertainment & Arts

Sir Michael Parkinson reveals he has cancer

Sir Michael Parkinson
Image caption Sir Michael Parkinson was diagnosed after a routine health check

Sir Michael Parkinson has revealed that he has prostate cancer.

The veteran broadcaster and former chat show host said he was having radiotherapy and was confident of returning to full health.

"It was a great shock, but I have been told to expect to make a full recovery," he said.

Sir Michael, 78, known as Parky to his fans, was diagnosed with the disease in May after a routine health check last year.

"When you are told you have something like cancer, it is a shock. But the cancer specialist said: 'I will assure you, you will not die of this.'

"I am concerned about it, of course, but I am not frightened of it."

'No side effects'

Sir Michael said he continues to live "a normal life", aside from the "distraction" of his five weekly sessions of radiotherapy.

Describing his treatment as "extraordinary", he said had not felt any pain or discomfort.

"If anything, it's boring," he said. "You have to lie there completely still, for six minutes.

"But I have had no side effects at all."

Sir Michael admitted that the diagnosis was a shock, but said he was "in wonder" at the "marvellous" work of medical staff and was "very grateful".

"When you get involved in this, you begin to understand the extraordinary work of those involved in treating cancer," he added.

The journalist and renowned interviewer urged men to pay more attention to their health and to take notice of any unusual symptoms.

"I don't want to trivialise it, but men know when there's a problem. I have been lucky, but men are silly about their health.

"Get it checked out - it might be something else."

Sir Michael, whose career spanned 50 years and saw him interview high-profile guests such as Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John and Rod Hull with puppet Emu, announced his retirement in 2007.

He said he had no intention of letting cancer get in the way.

"I'm 78 and I have had a good life," he said.

"I shall be around for a while yet, to the delight of my friends and the dismay of my enemies."

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