Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham has been diagnosed with cancer. The 65-year-old has postponed a UK tour of Kay Mellor's play A Passionate Woman to undergo treatment. So far, no further details of her condition have been made public.
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In a statement, the popular star said, "I'm devastated not to be able to honour my commitments to the play this year.
"But having toured many times before, I'm aware of the sheer stamina needed and I need to prioritise my recovery.
"That said, nothing's going to stop me coming back next year, and I can't wait to be 'a passionate woman'.
Canada-born Lynda is best known for shows including All Creatures Great and Small and Loose Women, as well as the Oxo TV adverts screened in the 1980s and the 90's.
She also took part in Strictly Come Dancing four years ago, and currently presents Country House Sunday, a weekly show in which she explores stately homes around the UK.
Lynda has been a high-profile supporter of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support since her sister Barbara passed away from lung cancer.
The tour of A Passionate Woman was scheduled to start at the Sheffield Lyceum in September. Sheffield Theatres' artistic director Daniel Evans said, "A Passionate Woman is an extraordinary play about an extraordinary woman, and that woman in Lynda Bellingham.
"She is the heart of this production, and it's inconceivable that we would do it without her. Our priority is to Lynda and her health, and we look forward to welcoming her back soon."
Lynda has two sons, Michael and Robbie from her second marriage to Nunzio Peluso from 1981 to 1996. She married for a third time on her 60th birthday in 2008.
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