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Writer AA Gill diagnosed with ‘the full English’ of cancer

Writer AA GillImage copyright
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The writer said he has been very lucky in his life following his cancer diagnosis

Restaurant critic AA Gill has revealed he has been diagnosed with the “full English” of cancers.

The illness prompted his engagement to his partner of 23 years, Nicola Formby, with whom he has two children.

Doctors found he had cancer, which has spread from his lungs to other parts of his body, after he went for an X-ray when people noticed he had lost weight.

Gill, 62, who is having chemotherapy, said he does not “feel cheated” and has been “very lucky” in his life.

The columnist, who is restaurant and TV critic for the Sunday Times, told the paper: “I’ve got an embarrassment of cancer, the full English.

“There is barely a morsel of offal not included. I have a trucker’s gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy.”

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AA Gill is engaged to his partner of 23 years Nicola Formby

In an interview with the newspaper, he said he was prompted to visit the doctor after people noticed he had lost weight during a family holiday over the summer.

He also found it a struggle to complete his usual climb while stalking in Scotland and was suffering from a pain in his neck.

Doctors found he had a smoking-related cancer which had spread from his lungs – despite him giving up smoking 15 years ago.

The illness has meant he is unable to ride a bike because one tumour affects his balance and he has been banned from flying because he cannot risk infections.

Gill told readers of his column he was revealing his diagnosis because chemotherapy can alter the way things taste, adding: “If ever things start tasting like licked battery terminals, I’ll tell you.”

‘Golden ticket’

The writer, who was previously married to Home Secretary Amber Rudd and with whom he has two grown-up children, said he was “surprisingly excited” to be getting married again to Ms Formby.

He often refers to his partner as “The Blonde” in his restaurant reviews.

Gill told the Sunday Times he felt like he was given a “Willy Wonka golden ticket” to life after giving up drinking when he was 30 due to alcoholism.

“I realise I don’t have a bucket list; I don’t feel I’ve been cheated of anything,” he said.

“I’d like to have gone to Timbuktu, and there are places I will be sorry not to see again.

“But actually, because of the nature of my life and the nature of what happened to me in my early life – my addiction, I know I have been very lucky.”

Gill said he had visited a private doctor and paid for his own X-rays, but wanted to go back into the NHS because of the “connection it brings”.

He told the newspaper: “My father would say he didn’t want to die in the trench, and I don’t want to die in a trench in Harley Street.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-38042679