First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths shares hospital bed selfie after ‘robotic’ life-saving cancer surgery

First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths thanked the NHS for “literally saving my life” following surgery to remove a tumour.

The 46-year-old Channel 4 star announced in September that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. On Wednesday, the barman took to Instagram and Twitter to share a smiling selfie and update fans about his “robotic surgery”.

Posting to his 64,400 followers on Instagram, he wrote: “And breathe. 6 days, start to finish. “Now for real #cancer recovery. I’ve had open laparotomies before and the recovery was six weeks in hospital before robotic surgery!! amazing.”

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He later took to Twitter to reveal more details of his surgery and thank the NHS for the “excellent” cancer care he had received. In a tweet to his 48,000 followers, Griffiths wrote: “Now I’m home I’d also like to share that the excellent #cancer care has been jointly provided by MDT’s at @OUHospitals & @nhsuhcw.

“Both treating patients with latest gold (standard) pathways for best outcomes. Highly recommended if you need to refer your case.

“Journey is far from over yet. But the path is now clearer than it has been for quite some time. #nhs #BowelCancerAwarenessMonth”

Griffiths rose to fame as the bartender who chats to the daters while they wait at the bar for their match on Channel 4’s hit show. Last week he began updating fans on his cancer treatment in a series of posts on social media, including photographs from the hospital before and after his surgery.

He shared a selfie from the hospital, wearing a mask before his operation, with the caption “Ready as I’ll ever be. tumor removal time.”

First Dates co-stars and friends were quick to wish him luck in the comments, with waitress and actress CiCi Coleman sending a number of heart emojis. Griffiths later shared another post-surgery selfie, lying in a bed wearing a hospital gown, and wrote: “2am. Tubes outta everywhere. Aches and pains. But no tumor!”

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