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08th Sep 2022

First Dates’ Merlin Griffiths has “set back” in cancer battle

Ellen Fitzpatrick

He is still fighting.

First Dates’ bartender Merlin Griffiths has given an update on his battle with cancer after he suffered a “setback” with his treatment.

The TV star has been very open about his cancer treatment since he first was diagnosed in September last year and has been giving updates since.

Merlin is best known for helping and hyping up those heading on dates ahead of meeting their match in the First Dates restaurant.

He is now sharing another update for his followers, posting snaps on Instagram of him being treated in hospital and thanking everyone for the support they’ve shown.

Speaking ahead of the return of First Dates Hotel, Merlin spoke to Metro about his health and the operation he had in April.

“I got myself up and around [because] you’re supposed to do what’s called active recovery these days,” he explained, and praised the NHS for getting him home six days after his surgery.

Speaking about his recovery, he said it is “all going well” but said he experienced a “minor setback so… was in for a couple of procedures.”

In June, Merlin shared a photo on Instagram lying in a hospital bed with the caption: “Oh… Squibwibble. #complications #nhs #BowelCancerAwareness.”

A month later he shared another post that said he hoped that this would be the last time he was in the hospital “for a while”, saying: “Minor day surgery for some complications with my anastomosis following a Low Anterior Resection in April. The #CancerTreatment journey is long, and often painful and ugly. I couldn’t do it without my family either.”

Merlin also told Metro that as he is undergoing radiotherapy, his body “doesn’t heal the same way it used to” and he is now “under strict surgeon’s orders not to overdo it so active recovery takes a backseat”.

“So the last six to eight weeks have been quite frustrating, largely having to cool my heels and not being able to do what I’d like to do,” he said. “But otherwise, we are getting better. It’s a long, slow road, as anyone who’s going through cancer treatment knows. You deal with it, don’t you? You keep smiling and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there always is.”