Denise Robertson, ITV's This Morning resident agony aunt has been diagnosed with cancer. A statement was read out by Ruth Langsford and Rylan Clark-Neal on the show today, confirming that the much-loved writer and broadcaster is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
In a statement the 83-year old explained: ""I'm sorry I've not been around for a couple of weeks but a persistent health issue has turned into something quite a lot bigger. I've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It has come as a surprise to me and my family but we know that many others have suffered and dealt with this condition and I don't plan to give up without a fight. My doctor is referring me for chemotherapy and hopefully that will start soon.
"I'd like to thank all the lovely viewers of This Morning who have been concerned about my health recently and I hope I'll be back on the sofa soon," she added.
Presenter Ruth Langsford said the team at This Morning were in a "state of shock" after hearing the news. "After almost 30 years of providing comfort to millions of viewers, agony aunt Denise Robertson is in need of a lot of love herself today," Langsford said.
The show was flooded with messages of support from viewers and well-wishers and friends and colleagues. This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, who is on holiday, tweeted: "Sending all my love to a unique and wonderful lady xxx." Fellow presenters Holly Willoughby, Eammon Holmes, Ruth Langsford and Rylan Clark Neal also sent messages expressing their affection for everyone's "favourite TV aunt."
Tweeting his support for Robertson, fellow ITV presenter Leigh Francis said: "Sending all my love a support to Denise. Stay positive and get well soon." Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden wrote: "Sending all my love and support. I adore Denise." Comedian Sarah Millican added: "Sending love and hugs to such a wonderful woman x"
Former Emmerdale star and fashion reporter Natalie Anderson said: "So unbelievably sad to the hear the news of our lovely Denise Robertson @ itvthismorning. Sending so much love n hope you get better v soon!" Sunderland University tweeted: "Thoughts are with honorary graduate Denise Robertson today following the news she has been diagnosed with cancer."
Robertson's television career began in 1985 when she joined the BBC's Breakfast Time programme. She has been part of the This Morning team since the daytime show began in October 1988, serving as the resident agony aunt. She is also a columnist and was appointed an MBE in 2006 for services to broadcasting and to charity.
The TV personality lost her first husband Alex Robertson to lung cancer in 1972, while her stepson, John, also died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 44.
Denise was last seen at the National Television Awards earlier this year when the team picked up their award for Best Magazine Show .