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BBC ‘delighted’ to welcome back George Alagiah after cancer battle

George Alagiah returns to presenting duties after a year off due to illness. (Jeff Overs/BBC)
George Alagiah returns to presenting duties after a year off due to illness. (Jeff Overs/BBC)

The BBC is “delighted” to welcome back George Alagiah after his cancer battle forced him off air.

Experienced broadcaster Alagiah, 63, has presented BBC News At Six for more than 10 years.

Since being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014, the former foreign correspondent has been forced away from the newsdesk to seek treatment for the disease.

He last presented the News At Six in December of 2017, but has now returned to the BBC newsroom.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “Everyone at the BBC is delighted to see George back in the studio where he belongs.”

College Sophie Raworth posted online, saying her fellow presenter was “back with a beard”.

Sri Lanka-born Alagiah underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat his advanced bowel cancer in 2014.

He returned to presenting duties in 2015 after making progress against the disease, and saying he was a “richer person” following his prolonged battle.

His cancer returned in December of 2017, and the presenter underwent further treatment.

Alagiah said at the time: “My brilliant doctors are determined to get me back to a disease-free state and I know they have the skill to do just that.

Royal investitures
George Alagiah after collecting his OBE (Fiona Hanson/PA)

“I learned last time around how important the support of family and friends is and I am blessed in that department. 

“I genuinely feel positive as I prepare for this new challenge.”

The presenter said in March of 2018 that a different screening service, available in Scotland, could have detected his cancer sooner and aided his treatment.

He has now returned to the studio, prepared to present the News At Six.  

Alagiah also works on World News Today.

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