BBC News viewers were devastated yesterday after hearing the news that one of the nation’s favourite newsreaders, George Alagiah, is facing a second fight with cancer.
The News at Six host revealed he is to undergo medical treatment again for bowel cancer – but, incredibly, he still turned up for his shift just a few hours later and presented the news. What an absolute pro.
The 62-year-old father-of-two wrote on Twitter yesterday: “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.”
He added in a statement: “My brilliant doctors are determined to get me back to a disease-free state and I know they have the skill to do just that.
“I learned last time around how important the support of family and friends is and I am blessed in that department. I genuinely feel positive as I prepare for this new challenge.”
Alagiah was previously treated for cancer in April 2014, returning to the screen 18 months later. In a statement, the BBC said: “Everyone sends George and his family their best wishes as he undergoes treatment.”
And on Twitter there’s been a massive outpouring of love for the newsreader – with some sharing their favourite stories of when they met him.
Nick Dalby said: “When I was about 15, I wrote to the BBC asking how to become a journalist. A week later my phone rang and the wonderful @georgealagiah talked me through my options and gave great advice. I have never forgotten what a remarkable thing to do that was. Thank you George. Get well soon.”
Caroline King, a CofE reverend, added: “Best wishes, you made our son @joshuaharris34 very happy many years ago on a tour round the BBC when he was just a small boy. He is first year at uni now and a BBC News/Parliament addict. Thank you and good luck.”
Sundip Meghani went on: “I’ve always appreciated your work George, and, like many other people, I feel as if I know you. I’ve always thought of you as a reliable, steadfast, decent gentleman; bringing news and information to the people in a calm and personable way. All good wishes to you and your family.”
And rival ITV News host Alastair Stewart said: “Wishing you all the very best at this difficult, challenging time. You are one of the very best in the business as well as a truly wonderful human being. You are in my thoughts and prayers, George.”
Joanna Kamenou added: “George Alagiah is a true professional presenting the news this evening. Hope he can recover soon.”
We know you can beat this George! Good luck!