BBC’s George Alagiah returns to the studio after months of cancer treatment


George Alagiah returned to BBC News At Six on Thursday evening after taking months off for cancer treatment.

The news presenter, 66, was delighted to be back on the small screen to lead the newscast after discovering in October that he was dealing with a further spread of the disease.

He was first diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in April 2014 and found it had moved to his lungs and lymph nodes in 2020.

And he had been off-screen recently after receiving new treatment after learning of another spread of the disease.

But he took to Twitter on Thursday to let his followers know he was set to return to presenting duties exactly eight years after his first diagnosis.

In the heartwarming message ahead of his return, he wrote: “I’ll be back in the @BBCNews studio today after months of treatment.

George Alagiah was delighted to be back on BBC News At Six

“Pure coincidence – it’s been 8 years to the day since I was told I had stage 4 #bowel cancer. So good to be with the News at Six team again.”

He opened the newsletter by telling the story of a £120million scheme that will send Rwandan immigrant men to East Africa if they “unofficially” arrive in the UK.

He made no reference to his diagnosis or treatment throughout the 30-minute installment.

Many of George’s supporters congratulated him on his successful comeback, including new BBC News political editor Chris Mason, who tweeted: “Welcome @BBCAlagiah!”

In January, George revealed the harsh thought that cancer “will probably get him in the end” despite battling the disease on several occasions.

He discussed living with the disease with former Downing Street communications director Craig Oliver.

George said: “I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of this thing.

“My doctor is very good at hitting me once in a while with a big red bus full of drugs, because the whole point of cancer is that it finds its way and ends up by catching you.

Cancer by George Alagiah
George was first diagnosed with cancer in 2014

“Probably…it’ll get me eventually. Hopefully it’ll be a long time from now, but I’m very lucky.”

He went on to admit that it took him a long time to figure out what he “needed to do” when he was first diagnosed with the disease.

George, born in Sri Lanka, first underwent grueling 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat his advanced bowel cancer in 2014 before returning to work in 2015.

In 2017, he took another extended leave to continue his treatment.


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