‘I might make the end of this year, I might not’, says broadcaster James Whale

Veteran broadcaster James Whale said he is uncertain about how long he has left as he continues to battle stage four kidney cancer.

Whale, who was made an MBE at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2000 and had to have one of his kidneys removed.

Then in 2020, the TalkTV host revealed that the cancer had returned in his kidney, spine, brain and lungs.

Speaking after the ceremony on Wednesday, he told the PA news agency: “I didn’t think I’d be here to receive this.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
James Whale, with his wife Nadine, was made an MBE at Windsor Castle (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“But who knows? I’ve been terminally ill now for nearly four years. 25 years ago I had the original cancer.

“So I might make the end of this year, I might not. I might be around next year.

“I think you’ve got to be positive. I know it’s getting a bit worse than it was. You just have to go with the flow really. You have to do that to get through it.

“One in two of us is going to go on this journey until they find a cure. They will find a cure.

“But you have to make the most of it.

“When you’re my age – and I’ve had a good life – you say maybe you have another year left.

“Four years ago, we thought we had months.”

Whale, 72, was made an MBE for his services to broadcasting and to charity.

The talk show host has been a popular voice on radio and TV for five decades, and still hosts a regular Saturday slot on TalkTV and TalkRadio.

He said: “The award has been the pinnacle of doing what I’ve done.

“It makes me feel very proud that somebody has recognised the fact that I’ve spent my entire life being rude to people for entertainment.

“If my parents were alive, they would be in tears.

“It’s a great honour at the end of your life.

“I started off at the age of 22 with my own radio show in the north east of England, thinking I’d probably have to look for a proper job in the not-too-distant future.

“And so far, touch wood, I haven’t actually had to. So it’s been good.

“I never thought I’d get letters after my name. And all those people who stuck with me over the years, it’s for them as well.”