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James Whale considered taking his own life after cancer diagnosis

Broadcaster James Whale considered throwing a farewell party with friends and then taking his own life after he learned he had spine, brain and kidney cancer

  • The talkRADIO star said he considered euthaniasia at ‘the place in Switzerland’ 
  • He was given his diagnosis two weeks ago – 2 years after his wife Melinda died
  • But friends of the 69-year-old said they should ‘have a party’ in Britain instead 

Radio broadcaster James Whale considered throwing a farewell party with friends and then taking his own life after he learned he had spine, brain and kidney cancer. 

The talkRADIO star said he considered euthanasia at ‘the place in Switzerland’ after he was given his cancer diagnosis two weeks ago – just two years after he lost his wife Melinda to the devastating disease.

But friends of the 69-year-old said they should ‘have a party’ in Britain instead of going abroad.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the much-loved Celebrity Big Brother star insisted that his attitude is ‘not a question of being brave’ and he ‘you just have to get on with it’.

He is receiving treatment and has spoken with Professor Thomas Powles at the Barts Cancer Institute who he dubbed ‘one of the leading lights in kidney cancer’.

Radio broadcaster James Whale (pictured) considered throwing a farewell party with friends and then taking his own life after he learned he had spine, brain and kidney cancer

He said: ‘I’m feeling really well since I started the treatment, I don’t want any of those sad voices I probably look and sound like I would normally.’

He added: ‘You don’t know what live has to throw at you. So, it’s not a question of being brave by the way. 

‘It’s just a question of, in all our lives, we’re all going to get to a stage where our health isn’t going to be what it is when we are at our peak performance time. You just have to deal with it. There’s nothing else you can do.

Doctors removes one of Whale’s kidneys 20 years ago when he was first diagnosed with cancer.

The pioneering broadcaster rose to prominence in the 1980s when he established himself as the host of The James Whale Radio Show in Leeds which was broadcast on Radio Aire and ITV.

He now hosts between 7pm and 10pm on talkRADIO alongside long-time co-host Ash Gould.

The talkRADIO star (pictured) said he considered euthanasia at ‘the place in Switzerland’ after he was given his cancer diagnosis two weeks ago – just two years after he lost his wife Melinda to the devastating disease

Speaking on the morning panel show today following his latest diagnosis, he added: ‘You could go to the place in Switzerland. And I had thought because of all the people I’d seen suffer with the disease in my time, I can’t really be bothered. 

Whale is receiving treatment and has spoken with Professor Thomas Powles (pictured) at the Barts Cancer Institute who he dubbed ‘one of the leading lights in kidney cancer’

‘And then friends of mine said, well we’ll have a party, lets do it here instead of going over to Switzerland.’

He is receiving both immunotherapy and hormone replacement therapy at the moment.

He said: ‘I couldn’t stand the smell of food or eating. I didn’t eat for a couple of months.

He said he is now eating again and his ‘energy levels are good’ giving him enough strength to ‘do a bit of gardening’. 

After news of his latest cancer battle broke, Whale took to Twitter to thank fans who had reached out to him to offer support:

He said: ‘I just like to thank everybody for their wishes I’m going to be back on the air fairly soon at Talk Radio tomorrow night.

‘You’re also amazing thank you for all your kind words. I’m going to have to go to sleep now but I’ll be on talkRADIO at 6-30 pm tonight x’  

At the time of his wife Melinda’s diagnosis, Whale told MailOnline: ‘She is not expected to live very long, it may be weeks or months.

‘She is having treatment, and I can’t give up that last glimmer of hope. But the doctors say I have to face facts. She is dying. The though of losing her is so painful, it is difficult to even contemplate.’

Melinda went to her GP in September 2017, after feeling unwell and suffering with a cough.

She said: ‘I thought it was just a virus but the doctor found an infection in my lower, left lung and ear. I was prescribed antibiotics and sent home.’

James and wife Melinda in 2018, when they broke the tragic news that she had just weeks to live after her own cancer diagnosis

When they didn’t work, Melinda went back and was prescribed another course, which also didn’t work, before being sent for a chest X-ray.

She said: ‘I was getting more and more tired. At one point I really doubted myself. I thought, ‘This is in your head, Melinda.’ I thought it was the winter blues.

James’s wife Melinda, who died in May 2018

‘But when I saw the radiographer’s face I immediately knew something was wrong. The next day, I was told I needed further tests.

‘By the time I was told it was cancer in December, I already knew. Don’t ask me how, but I did. I have stage four lung cancer with secondary cancer scattered here, there and everywhere.

‘It’s in my bones, my spine and my lymph glands. It’s gone ping, all over the place.

‘It was such a huge shock.

‘You’re talking three months from perfect health to now, when I sleep almost 24 hours a day. It certainly crept up on me.’

She died just months later, in May 2018. 

Whale had hoped Melinda could overcome the prognosis, like he did 18 years ago when he was told he had a tumour in his kidney the size of a football.

He said: ‘They weren’t sure they could operate. I thought I was going to die.’

After beating the odds, he set up Kidney Cancer UK, a charity that helps support those with the disease and their loved ones.

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