Legendary Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne has revealed that he may have prostate cancer.

The 82-year-old told listeners to his RTÉ Lyric FM show yesterday evening that he will “not be with listeners next week” as he undergoes further tests in hospital.

He also said that doctors fear the suspected cancer may have spread from his prostate into his lower back.

“We are going into hospital because they think they may have discovered a bit of cancer in the prostate and they are afraid it might have moved up into the small of the back so I am into hospital for all sorts of tests,” he said.

Mr Byrne did not go into further detail about the tests but thanked listeners for their good wishes.

“I’ve had the most wonderful, fantastic, robust, good health all my broadcasting life. It’s my turn now. Many, many people much worse off. Thank you for your good wishes,” he said.

Mr Byrne is an icon of Irish broadcasting having hosted The Late Late Show from 1962 until 1999.

Since his retirement, however, he has continued to work and currently hosts a two-hour show of music and musings, called Sunday with Gay Byrne on RTÉ Lyric FM.

He has also presented his Meaning of Life series in which he interviews a series of celebrities and public figures about their beliefs.

Mr Byrne suffered a heart attack last Christmas and it had been speculated that he might retire completely. He previously had a health scare in 2011 when he was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin suffering from a shortness of breath.

A spokesperson at RTÉ said the entire staff hoped to see Mr Byrne back in the studio in the coming weeks.

“All Gay’s friends and colleagues in RTÉ wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back in the coming weeks,” said the spokesperson.


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