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Countryfile's Adam Henson felt 'totally lost' amid wife's cancer diagnosis: 'The thought of life without Charlie was terrifying'

The farmer and TV presenter tied the knot with partner Charlie Gilbert in 2021 

Megan Bull
TV Writer
May 20, 2024
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Countryfile star Adam Henson is opening up about his wife's cancer diagnosis. Speaking to The Mirror in a new interview, the farmer and TV presenter recalled feeling "totally lost" after his partner, Charlie Gilbert, learned she had pancreatic cancer in 2021. 

Adam Henson in the rain wearing a green jacket© Matthew Lewis
Adam Henson felt "powerless" after his wife was diagnosed with cancer

"As a farmer, you're solving problems every day from the moment you wake up until you go to bed," he explained to the publication. "But I didn't have the skills or knowledge to fix this. I was terrified. It was emotionally overwhelming - all I could do was deal with the facts and be as supportive as possible."

Adam, 58, had been with Charlie for 28 years at the time of her diagnosis. The couple – who share a daughter, Ella, 25, and son Alfie, 21 – had met in sixth form, and after reconnecting when they were 28, settled on an idyllic Cotswolds farm. 

Adam Henson with his wife and their son on his graduation© Instagram
Charlie learned she had a tumour on her pancreas in August 2021

Charlie – a location manager with the BBC – had experienced some stomach upset in 2020, but when her symptoms worsened, prompting her to lose 10lbs, she turned to her GP in 2021. 

Adam had been away filming in Scotland when Charlie learned that she had a four-and-a-half centimetre tumour on her pancreas. "I absolutely felt this was going to be the end of my life," she told The Mirror

After the GP's diagnosis was confirmed by Gloucester Royal Hospital, Charlie realised that what she really wanted was to get married: "I needed this public show of unity, and I needed to bring us together before I died," she reflected. 

adam henson© Instagram
Adam and Charlie wed in September 2021

For Adam, it was an easy yes, and the pair planned their wedding for the following month, tying the knot at Stroud Registry Office on September 9 – a day before she was due to undergo surgery. 

"Charlie wore an ivory dress and looked beautiful. When I saw her walking in on the arm of her mum, I had to struggle to hold it together. Everyone knew that she was going into hospital the next day and it was very emotional. But we also tried very hard not to think of what was hanging over us," Adam previously told The Telegraph

TV Presenter Adam Henson in a tweed suit with his wife in a cream jacket and sunglasses© David Hartley/Shutterstock
Charlie's surgery was successful and her health is now monitored by a six-monthly scan

Following their wedding, Charlie's operation was declared a success, and she began to recover from her surgery. As of 2024, Charlie is now back to work part-time, and her health is monitored by a six-monthly scan. 

"It has altered our outlook on life," Adam shared. "In the past I'd push the children to be more career focused and get ahead. But now I'm kind of - just have a lovely time. Look after yourselves - but have a lovely time doing it, because you just don't know what's around the corner."

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