First Dates star Merlin Griffiths, 46, battling bowel cancer as stage 3 tumour found

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Merlin Griffiths is best known for working behind the bar and putting dating hopefuls at ease on the popular Channel 4 show First Dates. While he is all smiles on screen, the 46-year-old has has faced heartbreak behind-the-scenes after doctors discovered a stage 3 tumour.

The barman has been told he has a 75 per cent chance of living beyond five years.

“I’ve shed a tear in private,” he told The Mirror.

“But you can choose ‘to do’ or ‘not to do’. I chose to lead my life as normal, to stick to the facts about it, and to keep putting one step in front of the other.”

Merlin also recalled telling his seven-year-old daughter Alix about his diagnosis, where he assured her that lots of people survive the disease.

He added: “I said, ‘Dad’s got cancer’. She said, ‘Is that bad, Dad?’

“I said, ‘Yes, it’s very serious but I think it should be OK. Modern medicine’s great and if anything changes I’ll let you know’.”

Merlin began suffering from stomach pain back in June, but put this down to a scar tissue stemmed from a car accident aged 20.

For peace of mind, he underwent X-rays and a CT scan but the result was all clear.

More to follow…

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