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Stephen Fry praises King Charles for cancer announcement

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry has praised King Charles for sharing his cancer diagnosis, calling his openness "marvellous".

The actor, who had prostate cancer in 2018, said the King's announcement - despite not disclosing the type of cancer - was "helpful" in starting discussions about the disease.

He said the King publicly sharing his condition aligned with his efforts to modernise "elements of the monarchy".

Mr Fry told the BBC he was "anxious" about his friend Charles's wellbeing.

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that King Charles had been diagnosed with a form of cancer, but did not specify what type or how advanced the disease was.

The King began "regular treatments" on Monday and will postpone public duties during it, the Palace said.

Mr Fry, 66, told the Today Podcast on BBC Sounds: "I am anxious, of course, anxious for his wellbeing and anxious that... having sort of been in the wings all this time and to have such a short time on centre stage, if he were to be seriously ill, would be really, really sad, because he has a lot to do and a lot he wants to do.

"I think what he wants to do is good, is beneficial for the country and for the people he's there to help."

The 66-year-old said the King sharing his diagnosis will help eliminate the "taboo" around discussing cancer.

"Like any taboo, it's sort of mushroom-like. In the dark, it grows. It's more dangerous when not exposed to the light," he explained.

Mr Fry revealed in February 2018 that he had had prostate cancer surgery, saying it was "thankfully caught in the nick of time".

His condition was given a Gleason Score - a scale used to rate the aggressiveness of prostate cancer - of nine out of 10 before the operation, in which surgeons removed 11 lymph nodes.

"You can never predict how you feel," Mr Fry said of the moment he learnt about his diagnosis.

"I think I said something like, 'gosh'. What do you say? There's no word that covers it."

The broadcaster said he feared cancer would rob him of his "zest for life".

"The last thing I'd want to do would be to start wearing elasticated trousers and watching Countdown every afternoon. Although I do really like Countdown," Mr Fry joked.