Dame Julie Walters has revealed she’s recently been given the all-clear following a diagnosis with stage three bowel cancer.
Speaking of her shock at the diagnosis, the Mamma Mia star underwent chemotherapy after learning the news 18 months ago.
Doctors found two primary tumours in her large intestine after she initially raised symptoms of indigestion and ‘slight discomfort’, before returning with symptoms such as stomach pain, heartburn and vomiting.
‘I was still thinking, “That’s ridiculous, he must have made a mistake”. I couldn’t believe it,’ Dame Julie told Victoria Derbyshire.
Diagnosed while shooting her latest film The Secret Garden, doctors informed the actress they had found an abnormality.
However, after opting for chemotherapy, Walters told the BBC presenter she was now feeling ‘really well’, as she said: ‘I’ve just had a scan, and I know that [I’m] clear.’
Still, recalling telling husband Grant Roffey the news, Walters said she’d ‘never forget his face’ with tears coming to his eyes.
Even though she feared she ‘may not come round from the anaesthetic’, once she awoke she was hankering for a spot of reality TV.
‘I said to the night nurse, “Is Love Island on?” – because we were talking about it – and we watched it together,’ she said, proving she is a woman after our own heart.
‘It was only a couple of days later I thought, I feel exhausted, and a bit low actually.’
Walters – who is urging the public to ‘go and get things checked’ – was forced to miss the premiere of Mamma Mia 2, with her team at the time saying she’d suffered a ‘ruptured hernia’, in turn keeping her cancer diagnosis on the down-low.
She was also been cut from certain scenes of her upcoming film, The Secret Garden, alongside Colin Firth.
Now she’s admitted her future in the entertainment industry is very much up in the air, hinting April’s The Secret Garden – which focuses on the story of Mary Lennox, who, after her parents suddenly die, is sent to live with her uncle and discovers a hidden magical garden on his Yorkshire estate – may be her final film.
Saying something ‘really engaging’ would have to grip her, Walters added: ‘I’m not saying I’ll never act again. But I certainly don’t think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o’clock at night.’