Radcliffe 'surprised' to have BBC show bumped during cancer treatment

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by Simon Austin

Bolton-born broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has said he was “surprised” and “disappointed” to be bumped from his BBC 6 Music afternoon show while undergoing cancer treatment at the end of last year.

Radcliffe’s programme with Stuart Maconie, broadcast from Dock House at MediaCityUK, was moved to Saturday and Sunday mornings in order to give Shaun Keaveny the 1pm weekday slot. It was part of a reshuffle that saw Lauren Laverne become the station’s breakfast show host.

“We felt... surprised,” Radcliffe told the Radio Times. “And disappointed. Some of the things [BBC management] have done mystify me still, but actually, in terms of my health, it’s probably better not to have to do three hours a day, five days a week.”

The 61-year-old agreed to stay with Maconie even as the show dropped from five to two days a week and said the move was “like renewing our marriage vows”.

The presenter was diagnosed with head and neck cancer at the end of last year, which required the removal of tumours from his neck and mouth, and is now in remission. The illness forced him to spend several months off air, during which time Maconie broadcast on his own.

Radcliffe added: “People always say: ‘You’ve got to stay positive.’ Easier said than done. But when it comes to the crunch, what’s the alternative?

“Everybody sneers at John Lennon, imagining there are no possessions while he lives in his big, white house. I found myself being quite kind to him [in the book], because surely part of life is about thinking: we can get through this.

“It made me a more positive person. At first, I was a bit like a religious zealot. People would say, ‘I’m not sure about this new Radcliffe, where’s the cynical one?’”

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