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Stephen Fry shares concern for his friend King Charles following cancer diagnosis: ‘I am anxious’

Stephen Fry has said it would be “really sad” if his dear friend King Charles was seriously ill because the monarch has been “in the wings” waiting for so long.

The former QI host shared his concerns about his friend following the palace’s announcement that the monarch has been diagnosed with an undisclosed cancer and had begun treatment.

Fry, 66, who himself revealed in February 2018 that he had undergone surgery for prostate cancer, has been close friends with the King for several years and the actor was a guest at his coronation last year.

In a new interview, Fry said that he would be sad if Charles was seriously ill, especially since he has only recently stepped into his role as monarch.

“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,” Fry told the Today podcast on BBC Sounds on Thursday (8 February).

Fry praised the King for sharing his diagnosis, and said it would encourage people to discuss cancer more openly.

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

“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.

Stephen Fry praised the king for sharing his diagnosis (Getty Images)
Stephen Fry praised the king for sharing his diagnosis (Getty Images)

Speaking about his own experience after undergoing cancer surgery in 2018, Fry said 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. He said that surgeons removed 11 lymph nodes.

“You can never predict how you feel,” 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 King is said to be “coping magnificently” after his diagnosis, and was seen for the first time since the news on Tuesday afternoon (6 February), as he was driven out of Clarence House to Buckingham Palace.

King Charles and Queen Camilla photographed on 29 January (Getty)
King Charles and Queen Camilla photographed on 29 January (Getty)

Palace sources told The Times that the King was tired from an unspecified procedure the previous day but otherwise showing no outward signs of having “any condition at all”.

Prince William made his first public statement after his father’s diagnosis was made public at a gala dinner for London’s Air Ambulance on Wednesday evening (7 February).

His appearance comes as his wife, the Princess of Wales, recovers from planned abdominal surgery.

The prince said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days. It means a great deal to us all.

“It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather medical focus, so I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all,” he joked.

He said the royal family appreciate the “kind messages” they have received following the King’s cancer diagnosis and told the guests: “It means a great deal to us all.”