julie walters

Dame Julie Walters opens up about bowel cancer diagnosis

The actress is fronting new programme dedicated to her late friend Victoria Wood

Sharnaz Shahid

Earlier this year, Dame Julie Walters revealed she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer. The actress, who is fronting Our Friend Victoria, a new programme dedicated to the life and career of her late close friend and comedian Victoria Wood, revealed back in February that she had received the diagnosis 18 months prior. 

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Dame Julie Walters talks about her cancer diagnosis

Speaking about her secret diagnosis for the first time with BBC's Victoria Derbyshire earlier this year, the 69-year-old star confessed she initially thought doctors "must have made a mistake" when she heard the news. Thankfully, after chemotherapy, the actress has now been given the all clear after doctors found two primary tumours in her large intestine.

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"I was still thinking, 'That's ridiculous, he must have made a mistake.' I couldn't believe it," she told broadcaster Victoria, who has documented her own recovery from cancer. The Birmingham-born star then explained how she was referred to a gastric surgeon and underwent a CT scan after she found herself suffering with stomach pain and vomiting. She had 30cm taken out of her colon in hospital.

julie walters

Julie spoke candidly about her battle with cancer

On coming round from her anaesthetic, Julie admitted she had the "weird" experience of "feeling absolutely marvellous". She shared: "I said to the night nurse, 'Is Love Island on?' - because we were talking about it - and we watched it together. It was only a couple of days later I thought, I feel exhausted, and a bit low actually."

Julie's recovery meant she had to be cut from certain scenes in the upcoming adaptation of The Secret Garden, in which she stars alongside Colin Firth. Since her diagnosis, the acclaimed actress has "completely changed" her perspective towards acting. "The person before the operation is different to this person," she explained. "I was due to do two big series... and there were two films. And I just didn't have to do any of it. And that was wonderful."

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