'I didn’t have the strength to pick up a guitar': Andy Taylor on cancer diagnosis and going solo

ITV News' Arts Editor Nina Nannar reports on what's next for Andy Taylor after a life-changing cancer diagnosis

Andy Taylor believes in the oxygen of publicity.

It is why he’s invited me to his house in the Cotswolds to talk about what he says men should talk about more - prostate cancer.

He was given a terminal prostate cancer diagnosis in 2018, just as he had a new solo album underway.

"It was a death sentence," he said.

But what he expected would be his last solo album has turned out to be his first in a new phase of life, he explains.

The turnaround began in November last year.

His old band Duran Duran were to be honoured with being inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame.

But Andy Taylor, their one time guitarist, was notably absent from the event in which the band were due to perform.

"I didn’t even have the strength to pick a guitar up," he told me.

So he wrote to the band telling them he had stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer, something he’d kept from most people.

Lead singer Simon Le Bon read the letter out, something Taylor would come to be thankful for.

"What has this treatment given you?" Nina Nannar asks Andy Taylor

Because Sir Chris Evans, the founder of The Cancer Awareness Trust, found out and contacted Taylor with news of a groundbreaking new drug Lutetium-177, a treatment known as PSMA therapy which accurately targets prostate cancer cells while limiting damage to surrounding healthy tissue, it can show growth resulting in longer life. 

Taylor says it’s changed everything for him.

Before, he’d been writing his will, sorting out what would happen to his musical recordings, the welfare of his wife and four children.

"It was a very dark list," he says.

But now, he’s turned that page over and can start planning anew.

The treatment is not a cure but it has given him a future he was not expecting he says.

For now, PSMA therapy is only available privately in the UK in a small number of hospitals.

Taylor says his treatment costs around £15,000 a session, but he is urging men to get themselves checked as early as possible to stop prostate cancer from spreading like his.

It is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths amongst men in the UK and remains, he says, something of a taboo subject.

He will be donating his share of the proceeds from the sale of a new Duran Duran album he’s worked on to The Cancer Awareness Trust. 

In addition, the band are staging a benefit concert in the US next week to raise funds for the trust.

His solo album, Man’s A Wolf To Man, will be released on September 8.

It does have tracks that reflect what he thought would be a farewell to his loved ones. But there is brightness too as in his new single This Will Be Ours.

Because Andy Taylor says he can now plan for more music to come.

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