Entertainment & Arts

George Alagiah 'overwhelmed' by support after TV news return

George Alagiah Image copyright BBC News
Image caption George Alagiah returned after over a year off air on BBC News

George Alagiah has said he is "overwhelmed" by supportive comments from viewers welcoming his return to BBC One's News at Six.

The 63-year-old's bowel cancer returned in December 2017, forcing him to take time away from work to receive treatment.

He wrote on Twitter that the cancer was "in a holding pattern", which meant he could work again.

Fellow newsreader Sophie Raworth confirmed his return on Twitter.

Alagiah replied to the tweet, writing: "There goes my hope of slipping back into the studio unnoticed! Thanks to all for good wishes."

After the news he added he is "determined to get behind that studio desk as often as I can".

After Alagiah's initial diagnosis in 2014, the disease spread to his liver and lymph nodes, which needed treatment with several rounds of chemotherapy and three large operations, including one to remove most of his liver.

He returned to work in 2015, but again had to take more time out in 2017 when he was told that his stage four bowel cancer had returned.

Upon his return on Wednesday evening, viewers and fellow colleagues appeared delighted, with many complimenting his new beard.

Labour MP David Lammy wrote on Twitter: "So pleased to see George Alagiah back where he belongs. One of the best in the business."

Veteran BBC broadcaster John Simpson added: "It's an absolute delight to see George Alagiah reading the news again - one of the finest and most thoughtful of my colleagues."

The BBC's health editor Hugh Pym said: "Great to see George Alagiah back on air on 6pm news after cancer treatment - welcome back!"

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