Sunday Times food critic AA Gill reveals cancer diagnosis in latest column

AA Gill on the BBC

Sunday Times food critic AA Gill has revealed in his latest column that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Gill, 62, told readers of his Table Talk restaurant review: “I’ve got an embarrassment of cancer, the full English.

“There is barely a morsel of offal not included. I have a trucker’s gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy.”

The columnist consulted doctors after people noticed he had lost weight. They told him he had lung cancer which had spread to other parts of his body.

Following his diagnosis Gill has proposed to his partner of 23 years Nicola Formby, with whom he has twins, both nine. He also has two grown-up children from his marriage to Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Gill battled alcoholism in his earlier life and began a writing career in his thirties. He joined the Sunday Times in 1993.

Speaking to the paper about his diagnosis he said: “I realise I don’t have a bucket list; I don’t feel I’ve been cheated of anything,” he said.

“I’d like to have gone to Timbuktu, and there are places I will be sorry not to see again.

“But actually, because of the nature of my life and the nature of what happened to me in my early life – my addiction, I know I have been very lucky.

“I gave up [alcohol] when I was still quite young, so it was like being offered the next life. It was the real Willy Wonka golden ticket, I got a really good deal.

“And at the last minute I found something I could do. Somebody said: why don’t you watch television, eat good food and travel and then write about it? And, as lives go, that’s pretty good.”

He added: “There is obviously no silver lining to cancer, but one of the things I found most touching and compelling is that you give people a chance to be incredibly kind.”

Gill has said he would have chemotherapy on the NHS rather than using a private hospital because of the “connection it brings”.

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