Only four years after being struck down with bone cancer, Hey Hey It’s Saturday star John Blackman has revealed he is now facing an “aggressive” cancer battle once again.
The 74-year-old, famously known for voicing Dickie Knee on the hit variety show, took to social media to inform fans that he was recently diagnosed with a new bout of bone cancer, this time on the top of his head.
“Four weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a very unexpected bone cancer on the top of my noggin and the possibility of brain cancer beneath (yes, I actually do have a brain),” the television personality wrote.
“This was the same aggressive cancer that took my jaw four years ago.
“Happily, the cancer (if there is a happy side to cancer) was spreading up and down and not in multiple directions. This could have made surgery improbable.
“Following PET and CAT Scans and a radioactive MRI, my plastic surgeon, Frank, consulted with my neurosurgeon, Patrick, and together they devised a plan of attack. Both are eminent in their fields and professionally precise who have worked on several similar surgeries together. They were very confident of success.”
Blackman went on to detail the eight-hour-long surgery he endured 10 days ago, explaining how the cancer-infected bone area had been successfully removed and replaced with a titanium mesh cover and skin graft.
“A great result with enormous gratitude to the dedicated doctors and nurses at The Alfred – true heroes each and every one of them,” he wrote.
Back in 2018, the Blackman was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer, which had formed on his chin.
The star then had to undergo a 10-hour long operation to remove his jaw and replace it with a leg bone.
Speaking to A Current Affair at the time, Blackman revealed the procedure could have ended his career.
“It’s like I ploughed into a tree and my life changed forever,” John said. “When I was given the news, my first thought was ‘I’ve got a full diary full of corporate gigs, I’m going to have to ring them all and put them on hold.”
He added: “It’s made me realise there are more important things in life than work. There’s people out there far worse off.”
“I’ve discovered my voice doesn’t have any authority anymore,” he joked. “I sound like a very drunk uncle Arthur when I’m on the phone. I don’t get any respect as (people) assume I’m a drunk or an old fool.”
Despite this, Blackman still managed to make a remarkable comeback and lent his famous vocal cords to the Hey Hey It’s 100 Years special reunion which aired in April.
Currently, Blackman is recovering back at home and is scheduled for six weeks of radiotherapy.