julie walters

Julie Walters opens up about secret bowel cancer diagnosis

The actress has starred in films such as Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot and Harry Potter

Sharnaz Shahid

Dame Julie Walters has revealed she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer 18 months ago. Speaking about her secret diagnosis for the first time with BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, 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.

Dame Julie Walters talks about her cancer diagnosis

"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 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 my colon" in hospital.

READ: Find out the amazing way Julie Walters celebrated after being made a dame

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-walters-event

Julie's recovery had 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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