Andrew Marr health update: Life after two devastating illnesses – ‘beginning not the end’

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Andrew Marr has embarked on a new chapter of his journalism career, trading the BBC for Global – the parent company of both LBC and Classic FM radio. The move follows a challenging period of poor health for the esteemed presenter, having had a stroke and a cancer diagnosis in the space of just five short years. Since overcoming the immediate effects of his health issues, Mr Marr is believed to have made an almost-full physical recovery – but what was his diagnosis? How is he now?

When did Andrew Marr have a stroke?

In January 2013 the broadcaster and journalist suffered what was branded an almost “fatal” stroke.

He suggested the life-changing event was triggered by vigorous exercise on a rowing machine in 2013, though there were earlier signs that he had missed.

His wife Jackie Ashley told the Guardian of two earlier “funny turns” which had happened prior to what became a life-changing stroke.

She said: “My husband, the broadcaster Andrew Marr, had a couple of “funny turns” but thought they were nothing serious.

“A few months later he went on to have a major, life-changing stroke, which resulted in four months in hospital; eight months off work and permanent disability.”

In a famous interview where Andrew spoke out on his stroke, he revealed: “I’d torn the carotid artery, which takes blood into the brain, and had a stroke overnight.”

While the stroke came as a shock to Andrew Marr, his wife and the public, this fatal event is sadly not uncommon in men of a similar age.

In England, one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, with an estimated one in four of them occurring in people under the age of 65.

What type of cancer did Andrew Marr have?

In 2018, the broadcaster was diagnosed with kidney cancer which led to a hospital operation to remove a concerning tumour.

Andrew was forced to step back from his Sunday morning politics show to undergo the life-saving treatment.

The malignant tumour was removed in May 2018, and he made a full recovery shortly after.

Kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, but it can be easily treated if caught early before the tumour spreads beyond the renal organ.

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How is Andrew Marr now?

Thanks to intensive rehabilitation early in his post-stroke recovery, Andrew was able to regain full speech and resume his life’s work on our screens.

However, his lack of movement in his left-hand side remains a constant struggle, despite ongoing attempts to achieve improved motor function.

Since undergoing an operation to remove the kidney tumour in 2018, he has made a full recovery from his cancer diagnosis.

As well as making an almost-full physical recovery since his stroke and tumour removal, Andrew has spoken out on the emotional effects of his eye-opening health battles.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he revealed how the stroke had not only limited his movement but also radically changed the way he painted – one of the presenter’s most-loved hobbies.

It was this coupled with the notion “it’s the second stroke that kills you” that led Marr to the realisation that life can be cruelly cut short.

He said: “You got the sense that life is short, so take the risks that you would be otherwise too timid to take.”

The presenter admitted he has had “an incredibly fortunate and very lovely life writing and broadcasting”, but insists he is hoping for many more years dedicated to painting.

While speaking to the paper just last year, he added: “I would quite like a parallel 40 years of painting.

“I’m 61, so if I’m thinking of Hockney, I’ve got at least about 25, 30 years left of painting.

“I do see this as the beginning of the story, not the end.”

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