Comedian John Bishop left 'contemplating death' after cancer scare

Danny ThompsonContributor
Stand-up comedian John Bishop performing at the Underbelly / McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)
Stand-up comedian John Bishop performing at the Underbelly / McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Scouse funnyman John Bishop has revealed a cancer scare left him contemplating death three years ago.

The 52-year-old was sent for tests by his GP after a persistent cough, and after weeks went by and his chest cleared, he thought no more of it.

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Then three months later his GP was in touch again to say the results of the tests were misreported by a junior staff, and would need an emergency CT scan, “and something in his tone suggested it needing doing sooner rather than later”, report The Mirror.

Read more: John Bishop explains why he got his ear pierced for the first time aged 52

He added: “It was the first time I had seriously contemplated my own death. I was filled with sadness for all the things I’d miss – my family, my sons getting married, my parents, becoming a grandparent, laughing, blue sky days when you are so happy that you almost feel guilty to be so lucky. Football, music, films.

“Death takes away everything, although this isn’t all bad. I suddenly realised I did not have to care any more about what Donald Trump did, if the ice caps were going to melt and the Brexit vote.

“I had seen this before with people facing terminal illness. There is a sense of contentment and balance hard to explain. All that matters are those you love.”

A difficult few days followed, and eventually his GP was in touch with the results to say there were shadows on both lungs, but it was “nothing sinister and was caused by increased bone mass in my sternum”.

Read more: John Bishop to explore Ireland in new programme for ITV

Bishop joked he then heard the radio in the background reporting Donald Trump had said global warming was a myth and he “started worrying again”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Melanie Bishop and John Bishop attend the GQ Men of the Year awards at The Royal Opera House on September 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Melanie Bishop and John Bishop attend the GQ Men of the Year awards at The Royal Opera House on September 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

Bishop was supported through the ordeal by wife Melanie, whom he has been married to since 1993. The couple have three grown up sons.

Bishop relives the episode in his new book, How to Grow Old, A Middle Aged Man Moaning, which is out now.


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