Nick Robinson, well-known and ex-BBC Political Editor starts his new job today (16 Nov 15) on BBC Radio 4. He was until earlier this year, the most recognised political reporter face on UK TV, frequently stood outside 10 Downing St reporting on anything politics and at any time of the day.
Like a lot of people, Nick’s life changed when he was diagnosed with Cancer in Feb 2015. A self-confessed workaholic, he is now hoping to live a more balanced life after surviving lung cancer according to an article in the Sunday Times this weekend.
He assumes the post vacated by James Naughtie, an extremely hard act to follow – a man who would frequently sink his teeth into a politician’s leg and not let go until he got an answer – or at the very least he would paint them into an embarrassing corner. It’s a tough job as most politicians are extremely wily characters, masters of ‘double speak‘ and expert in answering a question without getting into the detail the questioner wants. As we all know, the devil is in the detail.
Although the article introduces some new facts about his cancer experience, I was really looking for more detail. That said, even without the ‘devil’, the latest article is inspiring for most (….man goes back to work after a tough fight with Cancer).
So why am I so interested in the detail of Nick’s Cancer? Simple – because he does not have Lung Cancer as frequently and widely reported in the media. Lung Cancer is the ‘politician’s answer‘ or the ‘double speak answer’ to avoid going into complicated detail. The correct answer is he has Neuroendocrine Cancer with a Lung Primary.
I’d really like to turn the tables and interview Nick, we seem to have so much in common. We are both self-confessed workaholics, we both went to an annual Asthma clinic, we both told our Asthma nurses we had lost weight and we both were sent for a scan as a result. Following our scans, we were both diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer. Like Nick, I also have an interest in politics but wouldn’t make a good one due to my love of detail and hate of ‘double speak‘.
This is not a new problem for Neuroendocrine Cancer. The most famous of patients is the Apple founder and now deceased Steve Jobs. He is frequently (even to this day) reported to have had Pancreatic Cancer rather than Neuroendocrine Cancer of the Pancreas (an Insulinoma to be precise). Although not as famous as Jobs, UK musician Wilko Johnson (of Dr Feelgood fame) is a similar story. I touched on this dilemma in my blog The Anatomy of Neuroendocrine Cancer.
Nick – good luck with the new job. By the way, it’s really OK to say you have Neuroendocrine Cancer!
Thanks for listening
You can read the full article here if you have a Times subscription.