Gest diagnosed with tumour
David Gest and Liza Minelli pictured in 2002. Picture: Reuters

Liza Minnelli’s music producer ex-husband David Gest has pulled out of a UK pantomime after doctors discovered a tumour in his neck.

Gest, 59, has axed his upcoming appearances in A Nightmare On Lime Street in Liverpool and is heading instead to Memphis, Tennessee for surgery, according to reports.

Memphis otolaryngologist Neal S Beckford is quoted as saying: "Mr. Gest... will have the operation to remove the tumour on his neck immediately after his arrival next week. We expect Mr Gest to have made a full recovery by mid-January 2013."

Gest is upset about cancelling his appearances, but insists his health is his top priority.

He told Bang Showbiz: "I was really looking forward to singing in this wonderful play written by Fred Lawless.

"I have worked with a fabulous musical director named Howard Gray who has taught me how to sing and phrase and made it a brilliant experience for me. But I have no choice."

In a statement, Kevin Fearon, producer of the production, writes: "We are all very disappointed to lose David from the show but we agreed that his health must come first.

"He was working hard throughout rehearsals and we were looking forward to having him on stage here. The cast, crew and staff of the theatre would all like to wish him well with his operation."

The West Australian

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