News

Rhod Gilbert: A Pain In The Neck For SU2C review – Rhod’s cancer ordeal leaves him – and us – an emotional wreck, writes CHRISTOPHER STEVENS


Rhod Gilbert: A Pain In The Neck For SU2C

Rating:

Matt Baker: Travels With Mum & Dad

Rating:

Hairdressing is a tough life, chemotherapy nurse Jake told Rhod Gilbert, as he slipped a needle into a vein on the back of the comedian’s hand.

Jake cut people’s hair for five years. ‘I hated it,’ he said. His sister encouraged him to retrain and he now works at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, helping to save lives. ‘I’m quite a chatty person,’ he confided, ‘and I thought, well, what else could I do that still involves talking to people?

‘I found hairdressing more stressful, honestly I did.’

You can see his point. Every patient who beats cancer will be grateful to the medical staff for ever. But make a mess of a client’s blue rinse and you’ll never hear the end of it.

Hairdressing is a tough life, chemotherapy nurse Jake told Rhod Gilbert, as he slipped a needle into a vein on the back of the comedian's hand

Hairdressing is a tough life, chemotherapy nurse Jake told Rhod Gilbert, as he slipped a needle into a vein on the back of the comedian’s hand

Rhod was diagnosed with cancer in his neck and throat, on a tonsil and at the base of his tongue, after finding a lump in April 2022

Rhod was diagnosed with cancer in his neck and throat, on a tonsil and at the base of his tongue, after finding a lump in April 2022

Rhod was diagnosed with cancer in his neck and throat, on a tonsil and at the base of his tongue, after finding a lump in April 2022. The fact that he was on a fundraising trek for the Velindre hospital at the time, he said deadpan on A Pain In The Neck (Ch4), didn’t make the news any funnier.

UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE NIGHT

Prison officer Maurice Gee, revisiting an empty Shepton Mallet jail on Abandoned Engineering (Yesterday), recalled his most famous prisoner, Reggie Kray. ‘He could be a difficult individual at times,’ Maurice said. That’s putting it mildly.

Whether cancer can ever be amusing was one of the questions this unflinching documentary explored. Rhod’s answer was that if laughter helps, go ahead and grin — or weep, rage, seethe, howl or get hysterical. Whatever works, really.

After ten years of sponsored adventures from Kilimanjaro to Patagonia, raising money for the oncology centre, he decided to use his treatment as an unwelcome opportunity to showcase Velindre’s work. Boasting some of the best results in the world, the NHS facility calls itself the Hospital of Hope.

Months of chemo and radiotherapy almost broke him, and he didn’t disguise it. At first he was apprehensive and prone to fearing the worst. Later, after round-the-clock nausea left him exhausted and undernourished, he admitted the ordeal was harder than anything he could have imagined.

‘So far, it’s been the worst part of my life,’ he said tearfully. ‘I’m not laughing any more. Not sure I ever will again to be honest. I just want this to stop, I want to start to feel a little bit better, even if it’s just a tiny, tiny bit.’

Emotions were kept decidedly low-key in Matt Baker: Travels With Mum And Dad (More4), the least eventful of travelogues

Emotions were kept decidedly low-key in Matt Baker: Travels With Mum And Dad (More4), the least eventful of travelogues

Hospital shows, from 24 Hours In A&E to Ambulance, rarely reveal the depths of despair and extremes of resilience Rhod showed. By the end of his treatment last year, when he got the all-clear, he was gasping, ‘I’m a bit of an emotional wreck.’ So were we all.

Though his voice is more rasping and gravelly as a consequence of his treatment, he hasn’t lost his sense of comic timing, as he demonstrated at a stand-up gig in Cardiff to thank the NHS, with friends Greg Davies and Michael McIntyre. The audience laughed with him — but they stood up and cheered when emotion overwhelmed him.

Emotions were kept decidedly low-key in Matt Baker: Travels With Mum And Dad (More4), the least eventful of travelogues. The most exciting thing to happen came when Matt bought parents Mike and Janice non-dairy ice cream cones made from oat milk. ‘Different, innit?’ remarked Mike.

Otherwise, embarking on a caravan tour of Durham and Yorkshire, they visited the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where they spent an entire episode examining weather vanes, admiring model ships and poking around in boat sheds.

The unsettling aspect of this series is that Matt is 45 years old, and married with two children. We don’t see his own family; instead, he bounces around like a 12-year-old, alternately chivvying his parents and trying to impress them.

At 25, he might get away with it. Now, he’s an ageing Peter Pan.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button