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Louis Walsh reveals ‘rare’ blood cancer diagnosis on Celebrity Big Brother

Former X Factor judge Louis Walsh has revealed he was diagnosed with a “rare” blood cancer.

During a conversation on reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother, Walsh told former Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Dragons’ Den star Levi Roots that “no one knew he was sick”.

On Friday, he said he had been “shocked” to learn he had Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a slow-growing and rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that hits the white blood cells, according to Cancer Research UK.

Describing how he spent his lockdown during coronavirus, Walsh said: “I was sick, and I think nobody knew I was sick”.

Celebrity Big Brother 2024
Louis Walsh is one of the contestants on this year’s Celebrity Big Brother (Ray Burmiston/ITV/PA)

Ekin-Su asked if he had Covid-19, and Walsh responded: “No, I had cancer – a mild version, a Waldenstrom, a rare one”.

Levi asked: “Which part? Pancreatic cancer?”

The 71-year-old responded: “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 told the celebrities it affected him mentally, and gesturing his head said: “It’s just up here, even when I go past a hospital I almost get sick.

“It’s all gone, I’m fine. It was just the shock of being sick and that word – nobody wants that word.

“I have it blocked out, it’s just 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.”