Esther Rantzen reveals her lung cancer has progressed to stage 4
Esther Rantzen has revealed that her lung cancer has progressed to stage 4, after announcing her diagnosis for the disease in January.
Rantzen, 82, who is considered a trailblazer for female broadcasters, became a household name during her career at the BBC. She is best known for presenting That’s Life! between 1973 and 1994.
Speaking to the Mirror, Rantzen said: “I’m on one of the new medications, and nobody knows if it’s working or not. But I will have a scan fairly soon, which will reveal one way or another.”
The veteran broadcaster said: “I’m not good at regrets. What I treasure most are the fantastic friendships I have made thanks to That’s Life! during the last 50 years, the people I met, and the team who worked so hard, and laughed so hard, together for so long.”
Rantzen went public in January with her diagnosis, saying in a statement: “I have decided not to keep this secret any more because I find it difficult to skulk around various hospitals wearing an unconvincing disguise, and because I would rather you heard the facts from me.
“At the age of 82, this diagnosis has prompted me to look back over the years, and I want to express my profound thanks to everyone who has made my life so joyful, filled with fun, and with inspiration.
“First and foremost my family. My three children, Miriam, Rebecca and Joshua, have been the most wonderful support, company, and source of love and laughter and I am deeply grateful to them. My friends have been amazing and have created memories which sustain me and give me strength.
“My colleagues with whom I have worked, and continue to work with in broadcasting, journalism, the voluntary sector, and in many other organisations have been a constant pleasure, and have amazed me with their tolerance of my wild ideas and awful jokes.”
In addition to her success as a journalist and broadcaster, Rantzen founded ChildLine in 1986. The charity offers counselling and support for children and young people in the UK until the age of 19.
She later set up the Silver Line in 2013, a charity that supports elderly people in the UK who experience loneliness.
She was made a DBE in 2015 for services to children and older people in recognition of her charity work.