Daily Mail – 09 November 2009

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My secret three-year battle with cancer, by Casualty star

ACTOR Simon MacCorkindale has revealed he is suffering from terminal cancer.

MacCorkindale, 57, who played Harry Harper in the BBC series Casualty, has battled the disease for three years.

He and his wife of 25 years, actress Susan George (pictured below), have kept his illness a secret since he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006.

MacCorkindale was diagnosed with the disease after complaining of stomach cramps while filming in Bristol.

The actor was assured he could expect a swift recovery after surgeons removed a 2ft diseased section of his bowel. But a year later, he was told the cancer had spread to his lungs and was incurable.

He said: ‘It came as a complete bombshell. I thought I had beaten bowel cancer.

‘The oncologist said I had lung cancer – me, who never smoked a cigarette my whole life and always tried to live a healthy lifestyle.

‘We thought no one needed to know because, for the first year or so, we didn’t think it was that serious.

‘On a more practical level, Showbusiness is a difficult place in which to work when people think you’re sick. But the news has been slowly creeping out and at least this way we can tell the story in our own words.’ Doctors have told MacCorkindale he may have only three years to live, but he is determined to fight the disease.

MacCorkindale has turned down theatre work to help compile George’s autobiography about her Hollywood days and help with their Exmoor Arabian stud farm and equine photography business. He said: ‘I don’t want people to think that I’m pale, losing my hair, losing weight and on the way out. I’m not. I’m as active as I’ve ever been. I really believe we will get through this.’

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