Michelle Mullane dies age 50: BBC radio host loses battle against bowel cancer on Christmas Eve

Ex-BBC and XFM radio host Michelle Mullane has died at the age of 50.

The media personality tragically lost her battle against stage four bowel cancer on Christmas Eve, having been fighting the disease for over a year.

When initially diagnosed, in June 2019, Michelle was told she would only live for six further months, but battled through for 18 months instead, with the help of treatment.

Tragic loss: Ex-BBC and XFM radio host Michelle Mullane has died at the age of 50

Tragic loss: Ex-BBC and XFM radio host Michelle Mullane has died at the age of 50

Tragic loss: Ex-BBC and XFM radio host Michelle Mullane has died at the age of 50

Just a week ago, she shared a touching video to Instagram, which she shot from her bedroom window, of her friends gathered outside her house singing Christmas carols up to her.

Michelle was unable to leave the house over the last two months of her life, due to suffering ‘excruciating pain for nearly six weeks straight’.

She reported last week that the pain was ‘finally under control’, but sadly died the night before Christmas.

Her close friend, comedian Jason Manford, shared a touching tribute to Michelle on social media, three days after her death.

Always smiling: Michelle is pictured hosting her radio show on XFM

Always smiling: Michelle is pictured hosting her radio show on XFM

Always smiling: Michelle is pictured hosting her radio show on XFM

Brave til the end: The media personality tragically lost her battle against stage four bowel cancer on Christmas Eve, having been fighting the disease for over a year

Brave til the end: The media personality tragically lost her battle against stage four bowel cancer on Christmas Eve, having been fighting the disease for over a year

Brave til the end: The media personality tragically lost her battle against stage four bowel cancer on Christmas Eve, having been fighting the disease for over a year

He wrote: ‘Just found out my dear friend and ex-BBC Manchester presenter Michelle Mullane sadly passed away on Christmas Eve.

‘I have so many fond memories of Michelle from when I was starting out in stand up in the late 90s. Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off. We drank millions of cups of tea!’

Jason went on to talk about Michelle’s show: ‘Michelle Around Midnight was one of the only shows you could get on, get paid and just be yourself without having to be a big ‘tv name’.

Friends til the end: Just a week ago, she shared a touching video to Instagram, which she shot from her bedroom window, of her friends gathered outside her house singing Christmas carols up to her

Friends til the end: Just a week ago, she shared a touching video to Instagram, which she shot from her bedroom window, of her friends gathered outside her house singing Christmas carols up to her

Friends til the end: Just a week ago, she shared a touching video to Instagram, which she shot from her bedroom window, of her friends gathered outside her house singing Christmas carols up to her

Emotional: Her final post saw her tearfully filming her friends as they sang up to her, while she watched with Liv from her bedroom window ahead of Christmas

Emotional: Her final post saw her tearfully filming her friends as they sang up to her, while she watched with Liv from her bedroom window ahead of Christmas

Emotional: Her final post saw her tearfully filming her friends as they sang up to her, while she watched with Liv from her bedroom window ahead of Christmas

‘She was an incredible supporter of new talent and gave a leg up to so many of us northern comedians at a time where it felt like if you weren’t in London, you didn’t stand a chance.

‘She has supported me and many others ever since. She will be dearly missed by so many people, not least her young daughter Liv.

‘She only messaged me the other week to congratulate me on Royal Variety and to say how proud she was of me. For over a year we’ve been trying to organise a charity gig – postponed due to covid – in aid of Kidney Cancer UK & Bowel Cancer Research. 

‘The second we are able to, I will 100% make sure this happens in your name Michelle!’ [sic]

Wonderful woman: She bravely raised money for Cancer Research UK throughout her battle and wrote about her treatment on her personal blog SK9 Cheshire

Wonderful woman: She bravely raised money for Cancer Research UK throughout her battle and wrote about her treatment on her personal blog SK9 Cheshire

Wonderful woman: She bravely raised money for Cancer Research UK throughout her battle and wrote about her treatment on her personal blog SK9 Cheshire

Treatment: She underwent treatment after her diagnosis at The Christie in Manchester

Treatment: She underwent treatment after her diagnosis at The Christie in Manchester

Treatment: She underwent treatment after her diagnosis at The Christie in Manchester

Michelle was mother to Liv Winter, 23, and lived in Alderly Edge. 

She bravely raised money for Cancer Research UK throughout her battle and wrote about her treatment on her personal blog SK9 Cheshire.

Michelle had begun chemotherapy. She had also had a stent fitted to push the tumour to the side and expressed that she was ‘feeling extremely grateful’ over the summer, having lived beyond her prognosis. 

In her final Instagram posts, she documented the double blood transfusion she was undergoing, thanking those who donate blood and branding them ‘lifesaving for so many’.

Tribute: Her close friend, comedian Jason Manford, shared a touching tribute to Michelle on social media, three days after her death

Tribute: Her close friend, comedian Jason Manford, shared a touching tribute to Michelle on social media, three days after her death

Tribute: Her close friend, comedian Jason Manford, shared a touching tribute to Michelle on social media, three days after her death

He wrote: 'Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off. We drank millions of cups of tea!'

He wrote: 'Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off. We drank millions of cups of tea!'

He wrote: ‘Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off. We drank millions of cups of tea!’

She declared that she was ‘looking forward to having a bit more of a spring in my step’.

Her final post saw her tearfully filming her friends as they sang up to her, while she watched with Liv from her bedroom window ahead of Christmas.

Daughter Liv announced the tragic news with a heartbreaking post on Instagram. Michelle dies at the East Cheshire Hospice on Christmas Eve, with hundreds of tributes flooding in since.

She wrote: ‘My Beautiful Mum. My mum taught me a lot, she held my hand in times of upset and pride, she guided me till the end, she screamed at teachers and had my back (even though I was actually just a little s**t and they didn’t do anything), she had an energy… an energy that words don’t do justice.

Gone too soon: Michelle was mother to Liv Winter, 23, and lived in Alderly Edge

Gone too soon: Michelle was mother to Liv Winter, 23, and lived in Alderly Edge

Gone too soon: Michelle was mother to Liv Winter, 23, and lived in Alderly Edge

‘A quick wit and intelligence that gave her an unlatching quality you find only in the rarest of stars, her warmth allowed me to confide in her with any of my problems… and I mean ANYTHING, even ones a lot of people don’t tell their ma’s.

‘She had a laugh that filled the whole room, she was my biggest supporter and forever made me believe I could and still can achieve anything. She was my best friend. I can feel her still and I always will.

‘With immense sadness unfortunately I am announcing the passing of my mother, she went peacefully and gracefully at the East Cheshire Hospice 24/12/20 at around 9:30pm.

‘My mum made it her mission to fight cancer with a positive attitude filled with faith and strength publicly sharing her story in the hope to help others around the world, she did exactly that – with that in mind, please take this time after reading the post to hug your loved ones, enjoy each moment (even the ones over looked), drink that wine!

Last week: In her final Instagram posts, she documented the double blood transfusion she was undergoing, thanking those who donate blood and branding them 'lifesaving for so many'

Last week: In her final Instagram posts, she documented the double blood transfusion she was undergoing, thanking those who donate blood and branding them 'lifesaving for so many'

Last week: In her final Instagram posts, she documented the double blood transfusion she was undergoing, thanking those who donate blood and branding them ‘lifesaving for so many’

Liv wrote in a heartbreaking post: 'Raise a glass of red for our Mich tonight. I love you mum, I see you in the stars and I feel you in the air, I love you I love you I love you. Olivia x'

Liv wrote in a heartbreaking post: 'Raise a glass of red for our Mich tonight. I love you mum, I see you in the stars and I feel you in the air, I love you I love you I love you. Olivia x'

Liv wrote in a heartbreaking post: ‘Raise a glass of red for our Mich tonight. I love you mum, I see you in the stars and I feel you in the air, I love you I love you I love you. Olivia x’

‘In one of my final conversations that I had with my mum she told me, “At least I don’t have to pay my phone bill the end of this month”, my mum’s wit and charisma was there up until the end, so please for me, don’t message me your sorry’s and your thinking of you’s.

‘I have an army of people surrounding and supporting me one could only wish for so with that in mind, please instead comment either a <3, a favourite memory you had with my mum or potentially a photo i haven’t seen of her.

‘Raise a glass of red for our Mich tonight. I love you mum, I see you in the stars and I feel you in the air, I love you I love you I love you. Olivia x’ [sic]

If you have been affected by this story, contact Grief UK on 01234 862217 or by visiting griefuk.org 

Bowel cancer: What are the symptoms and how common is it for young people? 

Bowel cancer – which is sometimes known as colon or rectal cancer – is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, with most of those who develop the disease aged over 60.

However, rates of the cancer are increasing in younger adults, with more than 2,500 people under 50 diagnosed each year. 

Two studies published last May found bowel cancer cases have increased by up to 7.3 per cent each year in 30 to 39 year olds between 2005 and 2014.

But despite the recent increases, ‘the incidence in people under age 50 remains very low in absolute terms,’ Professor Stephen Duffy, a cancer screening expert at Queen Mary University of London told the Science Media Centre.

For example, the increase between 2004 and 2014 amounted to 267 more cases of bowel cancer in those in the 30 to 39 age bracket.

Just three teenagers aged between 15 and 19 are diagnosed annually with the disease on average. 

Thyroid, cervix, bowel and ovary are the most common cancers in women aged between 14 and 24 – though it is rare for those under 25 to develop cancer at all.

Under 25s accounted for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases in the UK between 2015 and 2017.   

The exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, but people can be more at risk if they are overweight, smoke, drink alcohol or have a family history of the disease.

It can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but the earlier it is diagnosed the better a patient’s chance of survival.   

Symptoms include: 

  • Persistent blood in your faeces 
  • A persistent change in your bowel habit 
  • Persistent lower abdominal pain, bloating or discomfort 

Source: Cancer Research  

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