Astrologer Russell Grant admits he was 'in denial' over brain tumour as he praises 'lovely' and 'reassuring' neurosurgeon

4 March 2023, 03:20 | Updated: 4 March 2023, 03:58

Celebrity astrologer Russell Grant has admitted he was &squot;in denial&squot; after being diagnosed with a brain tumour as he praised his "lovely" and "reassuring" neurosurgeon who encouraged him to get the operation he needed.
Celebrity astrologer Russell Grant has admitted he was 'in denial' after being diagnosed with a brain tumour as he praised his "lovely" and "reassuring" neurosurgeon who encouraged him to get the operation he needed. Picture: Twitter/@THERussellGrant

By Chris Samuel

Celebrity astrologer Russell Grant has admitted he was 'in denial' after being diagnosed with a brain tumour as he praised his "lovely" and "reassuring" neurosurgeon who encouraged him to get the operation he needed.

Grant, 71, underwent a six-hour procedure to remove a tumour on his pituitary gland shortly before Christmas.

The TV personality had the operation after doctors said the tumour could "blank out" his optic nerve, and cause him to lose his sight.

But Grant has revealed that prior to the procedure he was "so scared", but his neurosurgeon helped settle his nerves.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: "I was in denial. I was so scared. Then one day I had a Zoom call with my neurosurgeon Professor Omar ­Pathmanaban. He was lovely, so ­reassuring.

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"But what topped it off was he then said: "It would be an honour and a privilege to take away your tumour… when I was a kid my mother and I used to watch you every morning on breakfast telly. It made me late for school.""

Astrologer Russell Grant before going on air as BBC Breakfast celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special show and guests at MediaCityUK, Salford. Picture date: Tuesday January 17, 2023.
Astrologer Russell Grant before going on air as BBC Breakfast celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special show and guests at MediaCityUK, Salford. Picture date: Tuesday January 17, 2023. Picture: Alamy

Grant was told not to sneeze or blow his nose for the next six months after the operation to avoid complications.

He also spoke of his heartbreak following the death of his mother aged 93, in January 2021.

England and Wales were in lockdown at the time, which meant he was unable to attend her funeral and had to say goodbye to her on Zoom.

Recalling her passing he said: "I went into a great deal of grieving. It was terrible. I felt guilty, I felt I had let her down, even though I’d been looking after her since the 1970s, but I wasn’t there at the end."

Grant thanked the team who looked after him in an update on his recovery this week
Grant thanked the team who looked after him in an update on his recovery this week. Picture: Twitter/@THERussellGrant

He experienced sudden weight loss in the following months which he put down to grief, before tests revealed his body had none of the stress hormone cortisone.

A scan revealed that he had a tumour which was benign but pressing against his optic nerve and without surgery he would lose his sight.

Grant was reluctant at first to undergo the operation, but his friend, the singer Russell Watson, urged him to get it done immediately, having had the same operation in 2006.

He is now in recovery, and said his experience has "reminded me every day is precious and every day I need to do something that is important, not just for me but for the wider world".

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