The comedian, 55, Rhod announced last year that he was being treated for stage 4 cancer.
Last July this year, the Welsh star shared that he was undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, a hospital he’d fundraised for and supported for 10 years.
At the time, he assured fans he was in the ‘best possible hands’ and praised the ‘incredible’ NHS staff looking after him.
While Rhod took some time away from the comedy circuit and his TV appearances, he has since made a triumphant return to the industry and vowed to use his illness in his new material.
Speaking on The One Show on Monday night (October 30) Rhod gave an update, saying proudly that he’s ‘happy to be alive’.
Rhod Gilbert was diagnosed with head and neck cancer last year (Picture: PA)
He did, however, say he will ‘always have symptoms’.
‘Great!’, he responded when asked how he is doing now. ‘I’m alright!’
Rhod then laughed about how host Alex Jones told him he ‘looked awful’ the last time she saw him via Zoom.
‘I’ll always have symptoms and things, from head and neck cancer, the treatment’s quite rough, there’ll always be the niggly symptoms but, broadly, I feel wonderful!’
Rhod added that he’s ‘totally positive’ now, then going into detail about how he discovered his lump while actually on a trek raising money for cancer patients.
The comedian was in high spirits as he gave his first TV interview since treatment (Picture: BBC)
Rhod said he is adjusting to a ‘new normal’ (Picture: BBC)
‘I had been a patron for about 10 years. No connection with cancer, I just lived in Cardiff and they approached me, and said, “Do you wanna climb Kilimanjaro with us?” and I said, “No, of course not, look at the state of me,” but they persuaded me and we did it, and since then we’ve done Peru and Cuba, Nepal, I’ve done quizzes, stand-up comedy nights, for the last 10 years, and then I’m in the middle of Cuba on a fundraising walk when a lump pops up in my neck.’
He described it as a ‘one-inch tumour’ in his lymph gland, laughing that you ‘couldn’t make it up’ how he ‘left as a patron, came back a patient.’
Rhod also revealed that he has been documenting his experiences.
He was stunned after learning his cancer was related to HPV, as he knew ‘nothing at all’ about the virus before he got ill.
Rhod ‘hadn’t thought’ about doing a documentary until he realised he was going to be out of action for a while, and he wanted to share the information he was finding out.
‘I was going, “Do people know about this? I don’t know about this! We need to get this out there”,’ he said passionately.
‘This is avoidable, what I’ve been through for the last year, 18 months,’ he said, adding that audience members will approach him after comedy shows now to say they hadn’t even thought of vaccinating their sons against HPV, only their daughters.
The One Show also shared a preview of Rhod’s documentary, A Pain in the Neck, with a tearful clip showing him ringing the bell to rapturous applause at the hospital once his treatment was over.
The Welsh star plans to make plenty of ‘dark’ cancer-related jokes in his stand-up shows next year (Picture: REX)
Despite the emotional nature of the matter, Rhod assured ‘there are a lot of laughs in cancer”
‘You’ve gotta laugh!’, the comic exclaimed, promising some ‘dark humour’ in his 2024 stage tour as he adjusts to his ‘new normal’.
Rhod’s documentary airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4 and will be available to stream online.
The One Show airs weeknights at 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer.
Macmillan cancer support
The comedian is adjusting to a ‘new normal’ with head and neck cancer.