There can’t be many people who would describe their battle with cancer as a “gift” but that’s how Christine Talbot chooses to view it.
The Calendar News presenter has undergone a gruelling 12 months, undergoing debilitating treatment for the potentially deadly disease. But the glamorous 40-something, who joined Calendar as a reporter almost 20 years ago, is now looking forward to returning to our screens next month.
Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2012, with tests revealing she had the “most aggressive and most dangerous grade of tumour”.
She underwent eight cycles of chemotherapy, three weeks of exhausting radiotherapy and five hours in surgery to remove it. It was a serious operation but it was a world away from the mastectomy she had been told could be needed.
She told the YEP: “To be honest my first reaction was ‘fine, just do anything’, because you don’t want any risk. If you’ve got to do both (breasts), do both, I don’t care. I did come to terms with it.”
In the end the chemotherapy was such a success and she was relieved to face far less radical surgery.
Christine, who lives near Wetherby with husband Chris Gregg finished the radiotherapy at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, in September and said it was only recently she had started to get her energy back.
Now she’s focusing on getting back in shape ahead of her return to the job she adores – almost exactly a year since she disappeared from our screens to concentrate on her treatment. The popular presenter said: “I’m ready for it. I’ve missed the programme and missed the viewers.”
Christine will return to Calendar on ITV on January 14.