Michael Flatley ‘never entertained’ the idea his cancer could be fatal

Riverdance star Michael Flatley has said he “never entertained” the idea that his cancer could have been fatal.

The Chicago-born Irish dancer was diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of cancer in 2023, and is now in remission after treatment.

Flatley rose to stardom after a seven-minute performance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, which was extended to become the successful stage show Riverdance, and went on to create Lord Of The Dance, which had a record-breaking 21-date run at Wembley Stadium.

Flatley on the Graham Norton Show
Michael Flatley shot to fame after a performance at the Eurovision Song Contest (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he told presenters he was “feeling pretty good” as he prepared to take a new version of Lord Of The Dance show on a tour of the UK.

The 65-year-old said: “I think, for anybody who finds themselves in this position, the most important thing is a positive mental attitude.

“Just be positive. I never entertained the possibility that this could be fatal in any way.

“I’ve always focused on the positive, and I surrender myself to the the lord and he saw me through this.”

Flatley told presenters he blamed a 2016 house fire for the cancer, and added that he was “one of the most fit men in Ireland” for many years before the blaze, but claimed his health began to deteriorate afterwards.

Presenters Susanna Reid and Martin Lewis pointed out the fire was not the official reason for Flatley’s diagnosis.

The Riverdance star discussed his latest Lord Of The Dance tour which begins in July and features holograms of Flatley.

He added: “I perform in a hologram, so there’s three of me in different areas.

“We do a dance-off against each other and it’s quite a highlight, the audience seems to love it, which is a great thing.

“This show is fantastic, a lifetime of standing ovations, some of the greatest dancers in the world.

“I’ve changed the show, they’re all using their arms now, which I am really proud of. We changed Irish dancing since the first day I created Riverdance, and 28 years later with Lord Of The Dance, we’re still selling out.”

The dancer said he physically “wouldn’t be able to do a long tour” any more, but he had no plans to make the whole show in a hologram form as “I love to see humans”.

During the interview, Flatley also confirmed he was working on a new film based around dancing.

Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance tour begins on July 16 at Edinburgh Playhouse, and visits Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham before finishing in Londonderry on November 9.