Rhod Gilbert ‘hasn’t worked out what to say’ about stage four cancer diagnosis
Comedian Rhod Gilbert has said that he is still processing his stage four cancer diagnosis but feels “optimistic” about the future.
The 54-year-old Welsh comic first announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer in July last year, before disclosing the stage four diagnosis in November.
He also shared the symptoms he experienced with his followers, including a “terribly sore throat, tightness through my neck… I was having to cancel shows because I couldn’t breathe.”
Prior to his diagnosis, Gilbert had been a patron of the Velindre Cancer Centre, where he has now had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Gilbert admitted that it felt “weird” to be talking about the cancer and he hadn’t worked out what to say. “I’m more than happy to talk about it but I haven’t had time to process it at all,” he said.
However, the comedian also revealed that he has written 250 pages of new material for his next stand-up shows.
“I was having to look for things to be angry about, to fit what I did,” he said of his comedy style before the diagnosis. “And that’s diminishing returns, clearly. I felt that, and I think audiences felt that.”
He added: “As I got older, I started to feel… that I’ve got a bit of a platform here. And I should be doing more with it than just talking about toothbrushes.”
Gilbert said he planned on continuing future shows “in a similar vein… the cancer is on my mind 24/7, but, when I’m well enough to write, I’m jotting down a few things. And there is humour in there, definitely.”
He also said he is more aware of his own mental health, adding: “It’s just me and this bloody cancer, really. I’m really aware of mental health now and I’m checking in with myself every day.
“I feel fine, weirdly. I’m happy, optimistic and hopeful that next year it’ll all come good.”
Gilbert, who has appeared in TV shows including Mock the Week, Taskmaster, Nevermind the Buzzocks and Comedy Central’s Growing Pains, has rescheduled his live tour dates, which were originally due to take this month, for summer 2023.
“I genuinely can’t wait to get back on stage, but on doctor’s advice, I’ll have to wait a little longer and we are postponing the remaining seven shows,” he said in a statement posted last month.