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29th Jun 2022

First Dates’ Merlin Griffiths returns to hospital following cancer complications

Sarah McKenna Barry

He shared a photo from his hospital bed.

Merlin Griffiths, the bartender on Channel 4’s First Dates, has returned to hospital due to complications following a recent surgery.

The 47-year-old was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year, and he recently underwent surgery as part of his treatment.

Taking to Instagram, he posted a photo from his hospital bed and wrote: “Oh… Squibwibble. #complications.”

In the image, Merlin’s hand is bandaged.

The First Dates star discovered he was ill when he attended the hospital with bloating and nausea in September 2021. Doctors subsequently found a stage three tumour in his bowel. Since receiving his diagnosis in September, Merlin has been sharing details of his recovery with his followers on social media.

In April, which is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Merlin thanked the NHS for “literally saving my life”.

He also received praise from fans for talking about his stoma, which is an opening that allows waste — urine and faeces — to be diverted out of the body.

More recently, Merlin’s co-star Fred Sirieix, the maitre’d of Channel 4’s First Dates, told the Mail Online that his friend is in “good spirits”.

He told the publication that Merlin is being “incredibly stoic in the face of what’s happening to him”.

Fred said: “I really love him. He’s incredibly positive and pragmatic as well. I’m just not surprised because that’s the type of guy he is.

“You can always rely on Merlin.”

Fred added that Merlin’s situation reminds him of how precious life is.

“It reminds you of how lucky you are,” he said. “If you’re healthy and you have your wits about you, that’s it. You are having a good life.

“But it can be all taken away from us so quickly and unexpectedly so we’ve got to cherish and enjoy every single moment.”

For more information on bowel cancer, head to the HSE’s official website right here.