Radio presenter James Whale has said he considered euthanasia after being told cancer had returned in his kidney, spine, brain and lungs.
The 69-year-old talkRADIO star previously had surgery after being diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2000 and lost his wife, Melinda Maxted, to lung cancer in 2018.
Whale told Good Morning Britain (GMB): “It’s not a question of being brave. It’s just a question of, in all our lives we’re all going to get to a stage when our health isn’t what it was at peak performance, and you just have to deal with. You can’t just sit down and give up.
“You could go to the place in Switzerland. And I had thought because of all the people I’ve seen suffer with the disease in my time, I can’t really be bothered.”
But the veteran broadcaster – who has two sons James and Peter from his marriage to Maxted – said he was dissuaded from going to the Dignitas assisted dying clinic in Switzerland when he realised how much it would upset his family and friends.
Speaking on talkRADIO as he announced his latest cancer diagnosis, Whale said: “When I was first told, I thought, ‘Oh gosh, not again, well I think I will book my trip to Dignitas’. You know, the place in Switzerland where you can get it all over with in matter of moments.
“I thought maybe that might be the best way to go. Then that was very selfish. I hadn’t actually realised how much that would upset my family and friends.
“I have a relationship with my friends and they either love me or hate me. Listening to me on the radio, there is no middle ground
“I’ve been amazed today about the number of people who have been in touch. I think I need to annoy a few people for a little bit longer.”
Whale, who is being treated at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, promised to return to talkRADIO for the “odd show” but added he was still adjusting to the treatment.
The radio host visited the doctor after feeling unwell for about a year and was given the news two weeks ago that the cancer had returned.
He is receiving immunotherapy and hormone replacement treatment with the hope he will be able to avoid chemotherapy. He previously chose not to have chemotherapy after having a tumour removed from his kidney in 2000.
The broadcaster and talk show host has a regular slot on talkRadio, having previously worked for LBC, talkSport and ITV over his decades in the industry.
Whale’s experience with kidney cancer 20 years ago led him to form the James Whale Kidney Fund in 2006, which merged with Kidney Cancer UK in 2015.
Whale appeared on Celebrity Big Brother alongside Christopher Biggins, Sam Fox and Saira Khan in 2016.