Radio 1 DJ and former Big Brother star Adele Roberts diagnosed with bowel cancer at 42

Radio 1 DJ and former Big Brother star Adele Roberts has announced she has bowel cancer and is having surgery to remove a tumour.

The 42-year-old presenter shared details on social media and said her diagnosis was confirmed just a few weeks ago, at the beginning of October.

Sharing a photo of herself smiling and wearing a hospital gown, giving a thumbs up sign, the star said that “so far the outlook is positive and I feel so lucky that I can be treated” but she needs to find out if the cancer has spread.

“It’s just the start of my journey but I’m going to give it everything I’ve got,” she added.

Roberts, from Southport, Merseyside, first found fame in the third series of Channel 4’s Big Brother in 2002, alongside housemates including Kate Lawler, Alison Hammond and Jade Goody, who was later diagnosed with cervical cancer and died in 2009.

In her post, she gave details about how her cancer was discovered and urged anyone with health concerns to get checked out.

“For a while now I’ve been struggling with my digestion,” she wrote. “Thanks to a conversation I had with my Dad a few years back I went to my GP for a check up. I’ll be honest, I was embarrassed but I also knew that it could be something serious. So I went just in case. I didn’t think anything of it at first and just assumed it might be food sensitivity.

Big Brother 3, featuring Kate Lawler, Alison Hammond, Jade Goody and PJ Ellis
Image: Roberts appeared in the third series of Big Brother alongside Kate Lawler, Alison Hammond and the late Jade Goody
BBC presenter Adele Roberts celebrates with her medal after finishing the London Marathon in 2017
Image: The star ran the London Marathon in 2017

“After a few phone calls I was sent for some examinations and checks. I was then diagnosed with bowel cancer. This was at the start of the month.

“It’s all happened so quickly and I’m so sorry to post something like this on here but I hope it helps anyone who might be worrying, or suffering in silence.”

She added: “The sooner you’re able to see your GP or talk to someone the sooner you can get help.

“If I hadn’t I might not be so lucky. As I’ve learned over the last few weeks, there’s no ‘normal’ with cancer.

“Sadly it can affect anyone, at any age, anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Early detection can save your life.”

Roberts’ partner, actress Kate Holderness, also posted about the diagnosis, saying: “There have been lots of tears (mainly from me), lots of sleepless nights, but surprisingly there’s been a lot of laughing too. I can’t wait for Adele to tell you about those times when she’s on the mend.”

Radio 1 friends and colleagues including Clara Amfo and Scott Mills have shared messages of support.

“Everyone at Radio 1 – along with all our listeners – is wishing you a speedy recovery and we can’t wait to welcome you back on air soon,” a message on the station’s Twitter account said.

Roberts joined the BBC in 2012 as part of the Radio 1 Xtra team, before moving to Radio 1 in 2015 to host the Early Breakfast Show. In 2019, she appeared on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! alongside stars including Nadine Coyle, Kate Garraway and Caitlin Jenner.

She took over Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast programme earlier in 2021.

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