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First Dates’ Merlin Griffiths gearing up for ‘robotic’ op amid cancer battle


First Dates star Merlin Griffiths is reportedly preparing himself for a “robotic” surgery as he continues to battle bowel cancer.

The 46 year old TV favourite is best known for his role as a bartender on the popular Channel 4 show.

Merlin has often been caught teasing and joking with hopeful daters on the show.

He also encourages the contestants as they’re shown waiting nervously at the raised bar.

But outside of the series, the barman is dealing with a much more serious issue after he was told by doctors he had a 75 per cent chance of surviving longer than five years.

Merlin Griffiths has revealed he's gearing up for an operation to tackle his bowel cancer
Merlin Griffiths has revealed he’s gearing up for an operation to tackle his bowel cancer

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Tests discovered that the TV star had a 4.5cm stage three tumour in his bowel, and his best chance includes a “futuristic” surgery.

“Operation scheduled. 3 weeks to get my s**t together,” Merlin posted on his Twitter page Thursday, 24 March.

“Robotic surgery, welcome to the future!” the star added, as fans shared their support in the comments.

Merlin then posted his thanks following a flood of well-wishes from his followers.

Merlin has been a popular fixture on the Channel 4 show
Merlin has been a popular fixture on the Channel 4 show

“Thank you to everyone wishing me well. X… May your lives be prosperous and filled with empathy and happiness,” he said.

The so-called robotic surgery will involve Merlin’s surgeons controlling the arms of a machine with four limbs.

Holding surgical tools and a camera, they then conduct the surgery by watching inside the star’s body via a magnified screen.

Merlin, who is in a relationship with partner Lucille, 40, first announced he’d been diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer during an interview with the Sunday Mirror last year.

First Dates is led by a team of bar staff and actors alongside French host Fred Sirieix
First Dates is led by a team of bar staff and actors alongside French host Fred Sirieix

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“I won’t let it get the better of me,” the TV star insisted, as he recalled how his seven year old daughter Alix reacted to the news.

The pub landlord, who owns his own establishment in Lancashire, explained to his child that while his condition is “serious” he’s hopeful that with modern medicine “it should be ok”.

“She understands that people can die but I told her cancer comes in different varieties and in different ways too – and that many people come through it,” Merlin added.

The star first noticed a problem in June, 2021, when he started experiencing pain in his abdomen. At first, Merlin assumed it could be scar tissue in his stomach from a car accident that happened when he was just 20.

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