BBC newsreader George Alagiah to step back from duties as cancer spreads

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BBC newsreader George Alagia’s cancer has spread and will therefore take leave from work, his agent has said.

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Mr Alagia, who presented BBC News at Six, was first diagnosed with the disease in 2014 and again in 2017.

He had been presenting the news since his last diagnosis, but will now take a step back to seek treatment.


Journalists prepare for a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the coming months.

“He said working on the program ‘has made me wiser over the years’ and ‘I am determined to be back’,” his agent said in a statement.

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Sri Lanka-born Alagia underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat her advanced bowel cancer in 2014.

He returned to duty in 2015 after making progress against the disease and said he was a “rich man” for it.

“I realized that I would never give back a single day of last year’s experience,” he said.

“I wasn’t afraid to die. I just wanted to be treated.”

His cancer returned in December 2017, and the presenter underwent further treatment before returning to work once again.

He tested positive for the coronavirus last year after deciding to stop appearing in the studio during the outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.

Mr. Alagia joined the BBC in 1989 and spent several years as one of the corporation’s chief foreign correspondents before moving into presentations, and has hosted BBC News on Six since 2007.

He was made an OBE in 2008 for his services in journalism.


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