'It's wonderful to be back': Rhod Gilbert returns to stage in Swansea after cancer treatment

The comedian announced in July last year that he had stage four cancer. Credit: PA

Comedian Rhod Gilbert has said it was 'wonderful' to be back on stage for the first time in a year after undergoing cancer treatment.

Gilbert performed the first show in the final seven of his rescheduled Book of John tour at Swansea Arena on Friday.

The 54-year-old Welshman announced in July last year that he had stage four cancer and was being treated at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, where he had been a fundraising patron before the diagnosis.

The tour, which was originally due to be performed in the summer of 2022, will next see him perform in Bath before finishing in Cardiff in October.

In a video the comedian posted to Facebook, he said: "It is wonderful being back doing stand up again for the first time in a year. I'm feeling good."

He added: "It's lovely to be here, lovely to be back in Swansea, lovely to be alive, lovely to be back on tour."

Swansea Arena tweeted to say, "We’re all so chuffed you’re back to doing what you do best."

The television and radio presenter reflected on his diagnosis in a social media post earlier this year.

In a three-minute long video, Mr Gilbert shared the moment he first noticed a lump whilst he was on a fundraising trip with Velindre.

"The other irony is that I was in Cuba on a fundraising trek for this cancer centre when the first lump popped up in my neck. I literally left as a patron and came back as a patient.

"I'd been struggling for a while anyway with pain in my neck, I had a sore throat, I couldn't speak and I couldn't breathe. I was postponing and cancelling tour shows. I had terrible spasms in my face and a lot of tightness in the muscles, couldn't get to the bottom of it."

After a biopsy, the comedian was diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

Surgery and daily sessions of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy followed, but Mr Gilbert recalled the humorous side of the situation.

"That's another thing, I had to have chemotherapy sessions in a room with pictures of me in the room on the way in, grinning down at myself as a patron on the walls going, 'You can do this!' which was a bit odd."