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Sarah Beeny reveals her marriage to Graham Swift is ‘hanging on by fingernails’ after breast cancer battle and admits they stayed together for sake of their children


Sarah Beeny has revealed her marriage to husband Graham Swift is ‘hanging on by fingernails’ after her breast cancer battle in a candid new interview.

The TV presenter, 51, was given the all clear in April 2023 and in June she released her documentary Sarah Beeny vs. Cancer which detailed her cancer journey including her double mastectomy.

Now Sarah has reflected on her relationship with artist Graham saying they have both admitted they stayed together for their teenage kids. 

They share four children, sons Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12.

Speaking on the The Mid.Point podcast with Gabby Logan, Sarah admitted: ‘We’re hanging on in there by our fingernails. I mean, it’s not easy, is it?

Tough: Sarah Beeny has revealed that her marriage to husband Graham Swift is 'hanging on by fingernails' after her breast cancer battle in a candid new interview

Tough: Sarah Beeny has revealed that her marriage to husband Graham Swift is ‘hanging on by fingernails’ after her breast cancer battle in a candid new interview

Family unit: The couple share four children, sons Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12

Family unit: The couple share four children, sons Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12

‘Graham always said, ‘the day we have to work at our marriage, I’m going to leave’.

‘And I was like, ‘really?’ But I think he has had to work at it to be honest.’

The star then admitted: ‘I was being particularly horrible, because I have been a bit horrible in the last couple of years to be honest at times.

‘I was being particularly horrible and he said, ‘you know the thing is Sarah, you’re not prepared to leave and have your children half the time, and neither am I, so we’re going to stay together.

‘And we’re going to stay together happily or unhappily, so which would you like it to be?’

‘And I was like, oh that is quite dark, isn’t it?

‘He said ‘you wanna be happy or unhappy, because either way we’re still going to live together’, so I was like, ‘OK we’ll do happy then, shall we?’ he was like, ‘what a good idea.

‘Maybe you should be a bit nicer?’ I was like, ‘yeah alright I will.’ So logical, isn’t it?’

Delving deep: Now she has reflected on her relationship with artist Graham saying they have both admitted they stayed together for their teenage kids

Delving deep: Now she has reflected on her relationship with artist Graham saying they have both admitted they stayed together for their teenage kids

Health: The TV presenter, 51, was given the all clear in April 2023 and in June she released her documentary Sarah Beeny vs. Cancer which detailed her cancer journey including her double mastectomy

Health: The TV presenter, 51, was given the all clear in April 2023 and in June she released her documentary Sarah Beeny vs. Cancer which detailed her cancer journey including her double mastectomy 

Open: Speaking on the The Mid.Point podcast with Gabby Logan she said: 'We're hanging on in there by our fingernails. I mean, it's not easy, is it?'

Open: Speaking on the The Mid.Point podcast with Gabby Logan she said: ‘We’re hanging on in there by our fingernails. I mean, it’s not easy, is it?’ 

Sarah also told how she spoke about their issues with her older brother Diccon who gave her some firm but fair advice.

She said: ‘I rang my brother … and said, ‘right that’s it, Graham’s being so annoying, I think we’re going to split up,’ and he listened to me for ages, yeah, yeah, yeah, he said, ‘I get it Sarah, it must be horrendous being married to him.

‘The only thing I think that could be worse is being married to you.’ So I suggest you go and make up! So all is well.’

The pair married in 2002 after meeting on a blind date when she was just 18.

Also in the podcast chat Sarah revealed that she didn’t even want to mention her breast cancer battle in her new book.

She released her memoir The Simple Life: How I Found Home this year but has now told how she wanted to omit her health issues as she was reluctant for her cancer to be the ‘defining thing in her life.

She said of the book: ‘It’s a funny journey and in some ways, it feels like I didn’t want it to be the defining thing in my life. 

‘I didn’t want to be ‘Sarah Beeny had cancer’. I actually asked the publishers if I could not put it in and they said, ‘no, that’s not really going to work not putting it in’. I was like, ‘really? Are you sure we have to put in?’.’

She added of how she dealt with her diagnosis and battle: ‘My friends laugh about it, but they say that my coping mechanism is to pick up the carpet and sweep everything underneath and then pop it back down and then move on. 

‘I’m not saying it’s how anyone else should be, it isn’t; I’m sure many people would say that’s terrible, and you should process it.

‘We all own our own edit, I always think that’s kind the interesting thing in a way about life; I’ve been lucky enough to live on the planet 51 years and I couldn’t tell you anything about my life without taking 51 years to tell you about it, so I have to edit it down. 

‘Then you choose what you want to edit in and edit out, and I kind of like to edit in the good bits. 

‘I didn’t really think cancer was a good bit, so I thought I would prefer to edit out, so when I wrote the book, I intentionally kept it to one chapter which I thought that way, you could just not read that chapter if you didn’t want to.’

She also told how she had never imaged living past the age of 39 after her mother Ann died at that age from the same kind of cancer.

Sarah said: ‘When I got my diagnosis, it was something that I’d always imagined I would get in a way, and yet dreaded at the same time. 

‘So, she died when she was 39, when I got to 40, I had a little tiny bit of a crisis because I was like, ‘well, what do I do now?’ It wasn’t like I thought I was going to die. I just couldn’t picture life past 39, so I got to 40 and was like, ‘God, this is really weird, now what do you do?’.’

It comes after recently Sarah revealed she’s undergone gene testing to determine her family’s risk of developing cancer, after her own battle with the disease.

The star was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2022 and underwent gruelling chemotherapy, as well as a double mastectomy. 

But the star has been incredibly open about her journey and in a recent interview she discussed how she has now discovered she has a gene mutation which made her more likely to get the disease.

The results of the tests solidified Sarah’s decision to get a double mastectomy rather than a single as the gene meant she had a 50/50 chance of getting cancer again in the future in the breast that wasn’t already affected. 

It also meant there is a 50/50 chance she will pass the gene on to her children, sons Billy, Charlie, Rafferty and Laurie.

Sarah discovered that while she was negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2, she tested positive for PALB2, which could have wider implications for her children and potential future grandchildren. 

After the results of the test some of the star’s family members decided to also get tested. 

Her brother Diccon tested negative but her four sons are yet to get tested, while she also passed the information onto her auntie and cousins.

Sarah explained; ‘I gave them the control, it’s up to them what they do with it. It’s a very personal decision. I like the control, others may not want to know.’ 

As well as opting for a double mastectomy, the star also intends to have her ovaries removed. 

Explaining that the gene also means she has a marginal increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, she has decided that as it is only a day surgery and she is done having children she is booked in to have them removed. 

In her new book The Simple Life: How I Found Home, the star spoke candidly about her cancer journey but said: ‘It’s just one thing in my life that’s over now. I don’t want it to be the one thing that people think about me in 10 years time.’ 

The property ladder presenter appeared on BBC Breakfast last month as she discussed how grateful she felt to have completed her treatment.

‘I’m really lucky. I had a very lucky diagnosis, I’m lucky to live in the UK and I’m lucky to have the NHS. Lucky to be the age I am, so many things I’m grateful for to be honest,’ Sarah said.

She said she still felt like the same person after her ordeal, but admitted it opened a ‘box of demons’ she was forced to confront.

She said: ‘I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, and honestly it didn’t really change me at all.

Fair: Also in the podcast chat Sarah revealed that she didn't even want to mention her breast cancer battle in her new book

Fair: Also in the podcast chat Sarah revealed that she didn’t even want to mention her breast cancer battle in her new book

‘I mean it did obviously, because I had to go through treatment. But I would hate to think I’m a different person now.’

She admitted: ‘I’m probably a lot less nervous of cancer now, because it was like the big bad wolf and now I’m like you just deal with it.

‘The earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome, so you just need to get to the doctor quick.

‘Treatment is amazing compared to 40 years ago and in 40 years’ time it really will be nothing.’

The Mid.Point with Gabby Logan is available to listen to on all podcast platforms.



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