First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths thanks NHS for ‘saving my life’ after bowel cancer operation

The 46-year-old announced in September that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Credit: merlinfdc4/Instagram

First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths has thanked the NHS for “literally saving my life” following surgery to remove a tumour in his bowel.

The 46-year-old Channel 4 star announced in September that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The barman on Wednesday shared a smiling selfie on Instagram and updated his fans on his "robotic surgery".

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Posting to his 64,400 followers on Instagram, he wrote: “And breathe. 6 days, start to finish.

“Now for real #cancer recovery. I’ve had open laparotomies before and the recovery was 6 weeks in hospital before robotic surgery!! Amazing.”

He revealed on Twitter more details of his surgery and thank the NHS for the “excellent” cancer care he had received.

“Now I’m home I’d also like to share that the excellent #cancer care has been jointly provided by MDT’s at @OUHospitals & @nhsuhcw," Griffiths tweeted.

“Both treating patients with latest gold (standard) pathways for best outcomes. Highly recommended if you need to refer your case.

“Journey is far from over yet. But the path is now clearer than it has been for quite some time. #nhs #BowelCancerAwarenessMonth”

Griffiths rose to fame as the bartender who chats to the daters while they wait at the bar for their match in Channel 4’s hit show.

Last week he began updating fans on his cancer treatment in a series of posts on social media, including photographs from hospital before and after his surgery.

He shared a selfie from hospital, wearing a mask before his operation, with the caption: “Ready as I’ll ever be. Tumour removal time.”

First Dates co-stars and friends were quick to wish him luck in the comments, with waitress and actress CiCi Coleman sending a number of heart emojis.

Griffiths later shared another selfie post-surgery, lying in a bed wearing a hospital gown, and wrote: “2am. Tubes outta everywhere. Aches and pains. But no tumour!”