Rhod Gilbert says he’ll ‘get personal’ about cancer diagnosis in announcement of mammoth comedy tour

Rhod Gilbert is going on tour for the first time since receiving treatment for cancer.

The Welsh comedian, 54, has announced he will play more than 100 dates of a new show titled Rhod Gilbert & The Giant Grapefruit. It will run from January 2024 and through to November 2025.

Gilbert, who revealed he had stage four head and neck cancer in July 2022, said: “After the year I’ve had, it’s wonderful to be alive and going back on the road. I can’t wait to get back on stage and I’m ready to get way too personal about life’s recent ups and downs.

“When life gives you lemons, you have to squeeze them ‘til the comedy juice flows, so prepare for some dark but funny s***”.

Gilbert previously said he has written 250 pages of new material for his next stand-up show.

A listing promoting the tour on his official webpage said: “In his last show, The Book of John, Rhod was dealing with some pretty pungent life citrus, and an idiot called John. Little did he know that things were about to turn even more sour… But Rhod’s not bitter; he’s bouncing back and feeling remarkably zesty.

“Hilariously dark, passionate and way too personal, this is classic Gilbert, squeezing every last drop out of life’s latest curveballs… with a little help from an old adversary.

“This new live show sees Rhod back on stage doing what he does best. Candid, hilarious and uplifting; it’s a show about navigating the dark bits and turning life’s giant grapefruits into something approaching lemonade.”

The tour announcement comes weeks after he teased news of possible 2024 dates during an appearance on BBC Radio Wales. He said he was very grateful to the NHS and Velindre Cancer Centre for “getting me back on my feet”, adding: “My new attitude is that life’s too short, you’ve got to crack on and do these things.”

For years, Gilbert has raised funds for people with the disease, at the same centre he ended up receiving treatment from.

Rhod Gilbert (BBC)
Rhod Gilbert (BBC)

Earlier this year, the comic admitted that he was still processing his diagnosis, and that he hadn’t quite worked out what to say about the situation.

“I’m more than happy to talk about it but I haven’t had time to process it at all,” he told The Guardian.

Rhod Gilbert & The Giant Grapefruit tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday (29 September).