To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

First Dates barman Merlin speaks about 'consequences’ he must now live with after cancer diagnosis

First Dates barman Merlin speaks about 'consequences’ he must now live with after cancer diagnosis

The mixologist is best known for helping nervous singles relax before their first date

He's the friendly face who calms nervous singles with a stiff drink, a sweet smile and some words of encouragement - but alongside this, Merlin Griffiths is also a cancer survivor.

The First Dates star, 48, was diagnosed with Stage Three bowel cancer back in 2021 and was forced to undergo surgery to remove the tumour - but he received the brilliant news that he'd got the all clear 'for now', just a few months ago.

The dad-of-one was informed by doctors that the gruelling 18 months of intensive treatments and surgeries he endured had been successful and that 'there are no signs of any reoccurrence.'

Griffiths has kept it real with viewers throughout his health battle and has provided candid updates about his emotional journey, while also raising awareness of bowel cancer along the way.

He previously explained that he had initially hesitated to book an appointment with his doctor to discuss some of his worrying symptoms before he was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

During an interview in October last year, the barman said: "There is still a certain amount of classic British reserve in the way that we deal with a lot of health issues. And this one is particularly – it is in that area, isn't it?

Merlin is best known as First Dates' resident barman.
Channel 4

"Because it's bowel cancer and in my case it was rectal cancer. So yeah, I've got to talk about a***s. I've got to talk about poo. I've got to talk about bowel habits, so on and so forth. You have to normalise this."

The Gloucestershire-born TV star has been readjusting to life since getting back on his feet and will be back on our screens for the new series of First Dates, which returned on 2 January.

Ahead of the Channel 4 show's comeback, he appeared on BBC Breakfast alongside new waitress Aoife Smyth to discuss what fans should expect, as well as what life is like for him now living with 'the consequences' of bowel cancer.

While Griffiths told the hosts he is 'all good', he revealed he is still dealing with 'the fallout' of his health struggle, as well as a recent diagnosis.

He explained: "As anyone who has been through with cancer and come out of the other side knows, there are always consequences to something like this that are life-changing.

The Channel 4 star was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2021.

"I have a condition called Low Anterior Resection Syndrome now to deal with, but that’s all right. We live with it, we move forward. The main thing is, one is alive and able to smile and able to work at the bar in the restaurant."

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the condition is 'a collection of symptoms that people who have undergone a partial or total resection of the rectum might have'.

"These symptoms include, for example, faecal incontinence or leakage, frequency or urgency of stools, loose stools, incomplete bowel movement, or tenesmus," it added.

When asked whether that beating his bowel cancer had given him a new appreciation of life, Griffiths responded: "I suppose it does - it does and it doesn’t. It’s an experience one parks and you draw upon it when you need it."

The mixologist, who has appeared on First Dates since the show launched in 2013, has been hailed by fans for his positivity throughout his cancer treatment.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4 / Instagram/@merlinfdc4

Topics: Celebrity, First Dates, Health, Cancer, Channel 4