BBC newsreader George Alagiah has revealed he’s had a mild case of coronavirus.
The News at Six presenter George, who is being treated for bowel cancer, explained that he underwent tests after developing a fever.
Several days later his oncologist rang to say he had tested positive for the virus.
“In some ways, I think that those of us living with cancer are stronger because we kind of know what it is like to go into something where the outcomes are uncertain,” he told BBC colleague Sophie Raworth.
In December last year, George spoke about not fearing death during his bowel cancer battle.
At that time, the journalist had had more than 40 rounds of chemotherapy after first being diagnosed in 2014.
The 63-year-old broadcaster – who is facing the disease after it returned in 2018 – admitted that while he’s upset at the thought of leaving his wife and sons, he isn’t scared of dying.
Speaking on the How To Fail podcast back then, he said: “No I’m not [scared], actually. I’m not for myself, that much I know, and I’ve had to work through it in my head because I’m one scan away from perhaps knowing that that thing is going to happen sooner rather than later.
“I do find it very, very difficult when I think of my loved ones and in particular the woman who has loved me and who I love over the years since 1976, Frances, so that part of it is difficult.”
George – who has sons Adam and Matthew with wife Frances Robathan – has had to figure things out in his own mind and try to “come to terms with it”.
“I think I’m now in my forties or something,” he added.
“I’m having chemo tomorrow and various other sorts of treatments and some of it has been tough but I think it’s about dealing with it in your mind.
Coming to terms
“You certainly have to come to terms with it. Especially in my case, five and a half years ago I was in ‘sort your affairs out’ territory.”
The journalist was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and he was later told the disease had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.
Some of it has been tough but I think it’s about dealing with it in your mind.
He was then given the all-clear a year later and returned to work 18 months later, but he revealed in January 2018 the disease had returned.
George tweeted at the time: “Always knew cancer could come back but still tough dealing with disappointment.
“Harder for my family. I know what I have to do: stay calm, stay content, stay fit and let doctors do their best. (sic)”
Living every day to the full
Back in August 2019, George appeared on The One Show and said that despite his illness, he is living every day “to the full”.
He said: “I’m living with cancer like lots and lots of other people. I’m in a sort of limbo. It keeps coming back and my amazing doctors shove it back into its hole.”
“The only way I know – and different people deal with cancer in a different way – is to live each day as it comes along and live it to the full.”
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