Merlin Griffiths has opened up about the heartbreaking moment he had to tell his young daughter he has cancer.

The First Dates barman has revealed the devastating news that he is battling bowel cancer.

He will now undergo treatment for a year after doctors told him he has a 75% chance of living beyond five years.

The dad-of-one, 46, had to tell his seven-year-old little girl Alix that "dad's got cancer" and that it is "very serious".

Merlin said that Alix understands that people can die from cancer, but he assured her that lots of people do survive it.

He told The Mirror: "I said, 'Dad's got cancer'. She said, 'Is that bad, Dad?'

Merlin on the show (



"I said, 'Yes, it's very serious but I think it should be OK. Modern medicine's great and if anything changes I'll let you know.'

"She understands that people can die but I told her cancer comes in different varieties and in different ways too – and that many people come through it."

Merlin began suffering from stomach pain in June, but first put it down to scar tissue in his stomach from a car accident when he was 20.

Doctors found a 4.5cm Stage 3 tumour after months of telling them that something was wrong.

Merlin with the First Dates cast: Cici, Grant, David, Fred and Daniella (


Channel 4)

X-rays and a CT scan had revealed nothing, then after seeing a GP he was booked in to visit a gastroenterologist.

By August the pain was so bad that he went back to A&E and the next day he was given an urgent sigmoidoscopy, probing his lower intestine, which found the tumour.

After he got the news he had to tell his family, and his wife Lucile, 40, was working that day so he had to tell her over the phone.

Merlin said: "Lucile was working the day I got my diagnosis. I called her in the car on the way home from the hospital.

Merlin is trying to stay optimistic (


Publicity Picture)

"I said, 'Listen sweetie, we've found out what it is. It's a malignant tumour and I need chemo.

"Of course she was incredibly upset."

A week later he began to tell his friends and co-workers, including First Dates star Fred Sirieix.

Merlin continued: "A week later I called some close friends. Fred was lovely and encouraging. He asked me how it has changed my life.

Merlin will now undergo treatment for a year after doctors told him he has a 75% chance of living beyond five years (


© Nick Harvey 2019)

"I told him, 'You either let it or you don't. If you let it, it can take you down some pretty dark places.'

"CiCi and Grant were both shocked. Grant said, 'Christ, man, this sort of thing always seems to happen to the best of people.' That was very sweet."

Merlin said that while he is "terrified" about his illness, he is staying optimistic

He added: "I want to stack the decks in my favour, which means I'm going to remain broadly positive and resilient."

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