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01st Jul 2022

First Dates’ Merlin thanks fans as he returns home from hospital

Sarah McKenna Barry

“I’m alive, which is the main thing.”

First Dates star Merlin Griffiths has shared a health update with fans after he returned to hospital this week due to complications from his bowel cancer.

Merlin, who serves as the bartender on the popular dating show, thanked his followers for sending messages of support, and assured them that his team is “confident” he’ll be on the mend soon.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote: “Home again. Back again Friday.

“Had a very very small #anastamoticleak with abscess and collection.

“It’s a dreaded complication with any bowel resection. My awesome surgeon Mr Bajwa is confident we can fix it. For now it means having more tubes lodged up my arse and regular hospital visits until it’s healed.”

He added that he is now on a strict rest order and finished up by saying: “I’m alive, which is the main thing.”

Merlin was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year after he experienced bloating and nausea. Doctors subsequently discovered a stage three tumour in his bowel.

He recently underwent surgery as part of his cancer treatment, and, afterwards, he credited the NHS for “literally saving” his life.

Since being diagnosed, Merlin has been sharing updates of his health with fans as he raises awareness for bowel cancer. He also won praise from his followers 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.”

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