First Dates star Merlin Griffiths recalls co-stars’ shock over cancer diagnosis

First Dates star Merlin Griffiths has recalled the shock of his coworkers on the Channel 4 show when he told them that he has cancer.

Merlin, best-known for being the amicable and talented bartender on First Dates, has revealed that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The 46-year-old, who has been on First Dates since the very first series aired in 2013, said that he first began suffering from stomach pains earlier this year, before doctors discovered this August that the cause of his pain was a stage three tumour.

According to The Mirror, a week after telling his wife Lucile, he told some of his friends and coworkers, including First Dates maître d’hôtel Fred Sirieix.

Merlin recalled how ‘encouraging’ Fred was in response to the news, as he asked Merlin how the cancer was impacting his daily life.

‘A week later I called some close friends. Fred was lovely and encouraging. He asked me how it has changed my life,’ Merlin said.

‘I told him, “You either let it or you don’t. If you let it, it can take you down some pretty dark places”.’

Merlin also informed Cici Coleman and Grant Urquhart, who both work as members of the waiting staff in the First Dates restaurant.

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The bartender, who is also a pub landlord, said that they were both shocked, with Grant responding with some kind words about Merlin.

‘CiCi and Grant were both shocked. Grant said, “Christ, man, this sort of thing always seems to happen to the best of people.” That was very sweet,’ Merlin recollected.

Merlin explained how he told his seven-year-old daughter Alix about the cancer, telling her that while it is ‘serious’, he believes he ‘should be okay’.

He said that while his daughter understands that ‘people can die’, he told her that ‘cancer comes in different varieties and in different ways too – and that many people come through it’.

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