First Dates bartender, Merlin Griffiths, has announced he is battling bowel cancer.

The Mirror has reported the stars battle, as he vows he “won’t let it get the better of [him]”.

Griffiths told The Mirror he began experiencing pain in June this year but shrugged it off and assumed it was due to a previous injury.

However, when he went to the doctors a 4.5cm stage 3 tumour was discovered. He told The Mirror: “I thought, as most people must when they get a diagnosis, ‘Oh f***, I’ve got cancer.’

“I also wanted to know, what are my chances of surviving? It’s terrifying – of course I want to live.

“I’ve shed a tear in private. But you can choose ‘to do’ or ‘not to do’. I chose to lead my life as normal, to stick to the facts about it, and to keep putting one step in front of the other.”

Griffiths revealed his outlook over 5 years is a 75% chance of survival, but his oncologist hopes to cure.

He told The Mirror how she shared the news with family, especially his seven-year-old-daughter, Alex.

““I said, ‘Dad’s got cancer’. She said, ‘Is that bad, Dad?’

“I said, ‘Yes, it’s very serious but I think it should be OK. Modern medicine’s great and if anything changes I’ll let you know.’”

Griffiths also expanded on how he shared with his friends. Normally quite a private person, he decided to speak out about his diagnosis and will appear on Stand Up to Cancer Live next month.

After telling his wife, he began to tell close friends and First Dates cast members.

He told The Mirror: “A week later I called some close friends. Fred was lovely and encouraging. He asked me how it has changed my life.

“I told him, ‘You either let it or you don’t. If you let it, it can take you down some pretty dark places.’

“CiCi and Grant were both shocked. Grant said, ‘Christ, man, this sort of thing always seems to happen to the best of people’. That was very sweet.”

Griffiths is determined to film another series of First Dates this year, with strict Covid-19 guidelines in place.

He urges anyone with bowel issues to go to the doctor and be checked out, admitting he’s normally not the type to go.

“But we must all trust our instincts. If you are worrying about something, then get it checked.

“I’m keeping that positive outlook, but I’ve a morbid sense of humour. I tell people, ‘I have colorectal cancer… it’s a real pain in the arse!’.”