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Wilko Johnson clear of cancer

Published 05/07/2015

After undergoing pioneering treatment, Wilko Johnson has revealed he is now cancer free
After undergoing pioneering treatment, Wilko Johnson has revealed he is now cancer free

Guitarist Wilko Johnson has revealed he remains clear of cancer after a pioneering and complex operation he underwent last year.

The former Dr Feelgood star, who had pancreatic cancer, had a nine-hour procedure to remove a large tumour and extensive sections of his digestive system.

He told The Sunday Times Magazine: "I still can't believe this. They got the cancer. They got it all. I've been for regular check-ups. Nothing!

"I was supposed to be dead, but here I am doing things like walking up the road to meet me mate for lunch. Enjoying a fry-up in the caff, looking out over the Thames Delta, watching the sun dancing on the water. Ha! Every day is filled with wonderful feelings."

The 67-year-old had previously chosen to avoid treatment after being told he had a terminal illness when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013.

But tests showed it was not as aggressive as previously thought and the operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, was offered as a chance to save his life.

In the interview, he tells how he likes to read, often classical literature or Brian Aldiss. "Two hours might slip by, but it don't matter. This time last year, I was meant to be dead. Who cares about two hours?"

He also revealed how he has not got any better at buying clothes. "My wife, Irene, used to do all that. Shopping... looking after me.

"She died of cancer nearly 11 years ago. How can cancer take someone like her - an angel who helped everybody she met - and let a bleedin' idiot like me live? Doesn't seem right, does it?"

Johnson went on to play with Ian Dury And The Blockheads for a spell after leaving Dr Feelgood in the 1970s, then had a lengthy solo career.

He enjoyed his biggest success for decades last year, scoring a top three album in his collaboration with The Who's Roger Daltrey, Going Back Home. He has also appeared in TV hit Game Of Thrones.

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