Entertainment & Arts

Jimmy Tarbuck: Comedian reveals prostate cancer diagnosis

Jimmy Tarbuck Image copyright PA Media

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The veteran Liverpudlian comic told ITV's Good Morning Britain he would "try and beat it".

Tarbuck said he received the diagnosis the day after his 80th birthday earlier this month.

"Right now I feel great. I'm on the telly and I'm having a good time," he said, adding that the cancer had not spread.

He was inspired to get checked by Sir Rod Stewart, who announced in September that he had received treatment for prostate cancer.

"All men out there watching, and all wives, get your husbands to go for the tests. I think after 50, just have a test, let them have a look at you," Tarbuck said.

"You will be relieved and be with your families for extra years."

He said men can be too "shy" to get tested, but urged them not to put it off. "Boys, go. It is embarrassing. Especially when the fella said to me 'We're going to give you the thumbs up'. I said 'I hope not'. He roared laughing."

Speaking about his treatment, he added: "I'm having injections and taking tablets and then I take a yearly cycle."

Tarbuck, who rose to fame in the 1960s and was known for hosting variety shows including Sunday Night At The London Palladium and Live From Her Majesty's, is now planning to go on tour.

Other celebrities to have been treated for prostate cancer include Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull.

The NHS's national clinical director for cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, said: "It is so helpful that celebrities like Rod Stewart and Jimmy Tarbuck have been brave enough to speak out about their diagnosis - there is no doubt that they are helping us in the NHS to fight against prostate cancer.

"It is vital that men come forward for checks when they sense something isn't right, and the NHS Long Term Plan is prioritising action to detect and treat more cancers earlier when the chance of survival is best."

What is prostate cancer?

  • It is the most common cancer in men in the UK - an ageing population means more men are developing and dying from the disease
  • It involves the prostate - a small gland in the pelvis in men
  • Cancers can develop slowly over years and many men have no symptoms
  • Noticeable symptoms include needing to urinate more often and weak flow
  • There is no single test for prostate cancer - a blood test, biopsies and physical examinations are all used
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