First Date's Merlin Griffiths set to appear in new episodes despite cancer journey
He'll be back.
First Dates star Merlin Griffiths is set to feature on the entire new series of the Channel 4 show despite his ongoing battle with bowel cancer.
The 47 year old is best known as the barman from the hit dating show and announced last September that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
He has been in and out of hospital over the last number of weeks but is set to return for season 9 of the show and will be back behind the bar to give the daters their drinks and calm the a little bit before they meet their match, Metro has confirmed.
With the new series kicking off this week, fans can be reassured that Merlin will be making an appearance in each and every episode.
Earlier this month, Merlin thanked his followers for sending messages of support, and assured them that his team is "confident" he'll be on the mend soon.
Taking to Instagram, he wrote: "Home again. Back again Friday.
"Had a very very small #anastamoticleak with abscess and collection.
"It's a dreaded complication with any bowel resection. My awesome surgeon Mr Bajwa is confident we can fix it. For now it means having more tubes lodged up my arse and regular hospital visits until it's healed."
He added that he is now on a strict rest order and finished up by saying: "I'm alive, which is the main thing."
Merlin was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year after he experienced bloating and nausea. Doctors subsequently discovered a stage three tumour in his bowel.
He recently underwent surgery as part of his cancer treatment, and, afterwards, he credited the NHS for "literally saving" his life.
Since being diagnosed, Merlin has been sharing updates of his health with fans as he raises awareness for bowel cancer. He also won praise from his followers for talking about his stoma, which is an opening that allows waste — urine and faeces — to be diverted out of the body.