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James Whale shares update on terminal kidney cancer as he receives MBE in New Year honours

James rose to fame in the 1980s as a radio host

James Whale attends the 'TRIC Christmas Lunch 2023' at The Londoner Hotel
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
30 December 2023
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James Whale has shared an update on his stage four kidney cancer diagnosis amid receiving an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

The 72-year-old broadcaster 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, two years after his wife Melinda passed away from lung cancer. 

On Friday, James received an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his services to broadcasting and charity in the King's annual New Year Honours list. 

James Whale and Nadine Talbot-Brown at
The Shooting Star Ball in London© James Shaw/Shutterstock
James Whale with his wife Nadine Talbot-Brown

While speaking on TalkTV for A Lifetime Of Night-Time: The James Whale Story, James shared an update on his illness, saying that it would be "great" if he has a few months left to live or makes it to Christmas next year. 

"But if I die tomorrow I've had an amazing time. I married an amazing lady," he said, referencing his wife, Nadine Lamont-Brown, whom he married in 2021.

Speaking about his health, James said: "It is a bit bad at the moment, but I’m still wanting to do my show Saturday night, and you know how I look forward to that."

Nadine, who joined James on the programme, added: "James has been incredibly brave the whole way through. It is difficult at the moment. We were referred to the hospice last week, so we're now under their care. It's more palliative and is [about] stopping the treatment."

James Whale on TalkTV© TalkTV
James shared an update on his kidney cancer

James, who began his career in radio back in the 1970s, rose to fame thanks to his late-night show, The James Whale Radio Show. He then spent 13 years at TalkSport before moving over to LBC to host the drivetime show and then the breakfast show on BBC Essex.

Over his long-standing career, James has hosted several shows including Dial Midnight, Whale On, and Central Weekend Live for ITV.

He's also known for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2016, in which he placed ninth. 

Taking to social media, James expressed his gratitude for his appearance on the New Year Honours List, which also includes the likes of Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood. 

MORE: 10 of the biggest royal moments from 2023

emilia clarke 1© Photo: Getty Images
Emilia Clarke was included in the New Year Honours list

"Nobody could have been more surprised than me, thank you to all the guys who made it possible over the years, everybody at TalkRadio and TV and everywhere," he wrote. "I've worked since the 70s and the guys that run the charity Kidney Cancer UK, thank you, all this is for us."

In 2006, James founded the James Whale Kidney Fund, which later became Kidney Cancer UK, the nation's leading specialist kidney cancer charity. 

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