James Whale considered euthanasia after second cancer diagnosis

Radio presenter James Whale has said he considered euthanasia after being diagnosed with cancer for a second time.

The veteran broadcaster, 69, said he had abandoned the idea of going to the Dignitas assisted dying clinic in Switzerland after realising how much it would upset his family and friends.

Whale recently revealed he has tumours in his kidney, spine, brain and lungs, 20 years after having a kidney removed.

Celebrity Big Brother 2016 Launch – Hertfordshire
Celebrity Big Brother 2016 Launch – Hertfordshire

Speaking to Dan Wootton on talkRadio, he said: “When I was first told, I thought, ‘Oh gosh, not again, well I think I will book my trip to Dignitas’. You know, the place in Switzerland where you can get it all over with in matter of moments?

“I thought maybe that might be the best way to go. Then that was very selfish. I hadn’t actually realised how much that would upset my family and friends.

“I have a relationship with my friends and they either love me or hate me. Listening to me on the radio, there is no middle ground.

“I’ve been amazed today about the number of people who have been in touch. I think I need to annoy a few people for a little bit longer.”

Whale, who is being treated with immunotherapy at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, promised to return to talkRadio for the “odd show” but said he was still adjusting to the treatment.

He said the first rounds of his treatment had caused him to think he was in a “medical version of the Big Brother house” and at one point he became convinced he was the Messiah.

The presenter said: “While I was under the influence of these drugs, you know what I am going to tell you, I had a period of thinking I may be the new Messiah. It only lasted one day.

“I became a rabid vegetarian, walked around my garden looking at flowers and saying to everybody how beautiful these are.

“Friends came around and I gave them clothes. I told them, ‘I don’t need these clothes’. It was really quite weird.

“I never did illegal drugs in the 70s but I now begin to realise why some of these great artists who did drugs painted such amazing pictures and did so many weird and wonderful songs.”

Whale, whose wife Melinda died two years ago after suffering lung cancer, said he had not yet asked his doctors whether his cancer could be cured.

He said: “Can it be cured completely? Can it ever be out your system? I don’t know. I’ve not asked the question yet. It’s very early days. It’s only two weeks since I knew.

“Can I be completely healed? What is completely healed? I don’t know, I’m not sure.

“Can you get some more time to live? Hopefully yes. People talk about getting a cure for cancer. We don’t even have a cure for the common cold.”

Whale visited the doctor after feeling unwell for about a year and was given the news two weeks ago that the cancer had returned.

He is receiving immunotherapy and hormone replacement treatment with the hope he will be able to avoid chemotherapy.

The broadcaster and talk show host has a regular slot on talkRadio, having previously worked for LBC, talkSport and ITV over his decades in the industry.

Whale’s experience with kidney cancer 20 years ago led him to form the James Whale Kidney Fund in 2006, which merged with Kidney Cancer UK in 2015.

In 2016, Whale appeared on Celebrity Big Brother alongside Christopher Biggins and Frankie Grande.