‘This time next year, I won’t be here’: TalkTV’s James Whale, 71, discusses his terminal cancer in heartbreaking speech as he says chemotherapy is ‘making it hard for him to breathe’
TalkTV and talkRADIO presenter James Whale gave a heartbreaking speech on Monday night in which he detailed having terminal cancer.
James, 71, has cancer of the brain, spine, kidney, and lungs and said: ‘I know a lot of you won’t like me, but this time next year I won’t be here. I have terminal cancer.’
‘As you might be able to hear, I am having chemotherapy which makes it harder for me to breathe, but I’m OK. Don’t worry.’
‘This time next year, I won’t be here’: TalkTV’s James Whale, 71, discussed his terminal cancer in a heartbreaking speech at the British Curry Awards at Battersea Evolution on Monday
His love: He attended the event with his wife of one year, Nadine Talbot-Brown – complementing each other in navy blue ensembles
James was talking on stage at the British Curry Awards and referenced his good friend Enam Ali MBE who died in July after a two year battle with cancer.
The Epsom curry pioneer raised over £2million for charity before he died.
James continued: ‘I am in my 70s now and I just want to say don’t waste your time on stupid things that don’t matter.
He attended the event with his wife Nadine Talbot-Brown – complementing each other in navy blue ensembles.
Tough time: Broadcaster James, seen in 2018, has revealed he is battling multiple forms of cancer
Nadine, who works in accounts, wore a glitzy sequinned gown while James cut a dashing figure in a blue patterned waistcoat, blue blazer and orange-tinted glasses.
The couple married one another in a romantic ceremony at Tenterden Town Hall in Kent in October 2021.
The wedding came 14 months after the radio host revealed that he is battling spine, brain and kidney cancer, and three years after his first wife Melinda died from Stage 4 lung cancer.
He was himself given just three months to live when he contracted kidney cancer in 2000
James previously announced his engagement on Twitter in May that year, telling fans at the time that he’ll reveal ‘to whom later’ as he kept his love’s identity a mystery.
Sharing the news, James wrote: ‘Breaking news over this weekend of my birthday I have to announce that I have become engaged- to whom I will reveal later!’
His love: James planted a kiss on his beloved wife while walking the red carpet together
James continued: ‘I am in my 70s now and I just want to say don’t waste your time on stupid things that don’t matter’
Battle: He had said that his latest chemotherapy treatment had made it hard for him to breathe
One pleased fan replied to James’ saying: ‘Please let it be Ash [Gould, his talkRADIO co-host. I’ve listened to you two for years & it would be sooooo romantic! You’re just made for each other & I bet Melinda (looking down) would approve!’
This prompted the presenter to reply: ‘We have been together a long time.’
James’ late wife of 48 years Melinda passed away in May 2018, with him telling MailOnline at the time of her diagnosis: ‘She is not expected to live very long, it may be weeks or months.
‘She is having treatment, and I can’t give up that last glimmer of hope. But the doctors say I have to face facts. She is dying. The though of losing her is so painful, it is difficult to even contemplate.’
Melinda went to her GP in September 2017, after feeling unwell and suffering with a cough.
She said: ‘I thought it was just a virus but the doctor found an infection in my lower, left lung and ear. I was prescribed antibiotics and sent home.’
Heartbreak: James’ late wife of 48 years Melinda passed away in May 2018, with him telling MailOnline at the time of her diagnosis: ‘She is not expected to live very long, it may be weeks or months’
When they didn’t work, Melinda went back and was prescribed another course, which also didn’t work, before being sent for a chest X-ray.
She said: ‘I was getting more and more tired. At one point I really doubted myself. I thought, “This is in your head, Melinda.” I thought it was the winter blues.
‘But when I saw the radiographer’s face I immediately knew something was wrong. The next day, I was told I needed further tests.
‘By the time I was told it was cancer in December, I already knew. Don’t ask me how, but I did. I have stage four lung cancer with secondary cancer scattered here, there and everywhere.
‘It’s in my bones, my spine and my lymph glands. It’s gone ping, all over the place. It was such a huge shock. You’re talking three months from perfect health to now, when I sleep almost 24 hours a day. It certainly crept up on me.’
She died just months later, in May 2018.
James had hoped Melinda could overcome the prognosis, like he did 18 years ago when he was told he had a tumour in his kidney the size of a football.
He said: ‘They weren’t sure they could operate. I thought I was going to die.’
After beating the odds and having a kidney removed, he set up Kidney Cancer UK, a charity that helps support those with the disease and their loved ones.
James has also been very candid about his own health troubles in recent years, revealing in 2020 that he discovered he had spine, brain and kidney cancer.
Speaking last August, James said he even considered throwing a farewell party with friends and then taking his own life after learning his diagnosis.
He said he considered euthanasia at ‘the place in Switzerland’ after he was given his diagnosis- just two years after he lost his wife Melinda to the devastating disease
Sad loss: James’s wife Melinda (pictured) died in May 2018 just months after being diagnosed
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