Celebrity Big Brother’s Louis Walsh reveals he was diagnosed with ‘rare’ cancer during lockdown

Louis Walsh has revealed that he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer during lockdown.

The former X Factor judge, 71, is currently appearing on Celebrity Big Brother and spoke about his health for the first time during Friday’s episode (March 15).

He told housemates that he was diagnosed with Waldenström macroglobulinemia, a rare type of blood cancer, during lockdown but decided to keep his diagnosis private.

Describing how he spent lockdown, Walsh revealed: “I was sick, but nobody knew I was sick. I had cancer. A mild version, a Waldenström, a rare one.”

Levi Roots asked: “Which part? Pancreatic cancer?” to which Walsh replied: “In my blood, I didn’t even know that I had it until I went to the hospital, and they checked me, checked me, checked me, then they found it. They said it’s a rare one.”

He clarified that the cancer had cleared and he is now “fine” but said that the experience took a toll on his mental health.

The former music manager continued: “It did affect me mentally, I got to be honest with you. It’s just up here, even when I go past a hospital I almost get sick.

Louis Walsh told housemates Ekin-Su and Levi Roots about his health (ITV)
Louis Walsh told housemates Ekin-Su and Levi Roots about his health (ITV)

“It’s all gone, I’m fine. It was just the shock of being sick and that word, nobody wants that word. I have blocked it out, a reality check, you see so many people sick and it’s terrible.”

“In my world it was all about pop music and all that. I didn’t think of anybody getting sick or anything like that. And that was like wow reality check, you’re in the real world.”

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is sometimes called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. The most common symptoms include fatigue, repeated infections, bruising or bleeding easily and weight loss.

Louis Walsh on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ (Big Brother/ITV)
Louis Walsh on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ (Big Brother/ITV)

Friday’s episode of Celebrity Big Brother saw Levi Roots and Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu become the latest contestants to be evicted from the Big Brother house after the pair faced the public vote alongside Walsh, David Potts and Fern Britton.

During Tuesday night’s episode, Walsh ruffled feathers when he called his former X Factor mentees Jedward “vile”.

Just minutes after the scene was aired on ITV, the Irish pop duo Jedward posted a series of tweets criticising Walsh, while Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins weighed in and called on Walsh to stop “slagging off my boys”.

Celebrity Big Brother airs Sundays through Fridays at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.