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Sussex actor Ben Richards is back on the stage after battling cancer
A cancer-beating actor battled his way back to the stage to appear in a brand new musical.
Ben Richards, 41, who was born in West Sussex, wowed audiences as he played the lead role of Franklyn Hart in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical at the Theatre Royal in Brighton from August 5 to 10.
The actor begrudginglywent to see a doctor about symptoms in January 2012, when he was told to see a specialist as a matter of urgency.
Luckily Ben managed to get a last minute appointment with a private doctor.
Within a few hours the scan showed a 6cm tumour in his bowel and he was diagnosed with cancer.
After the tumour was removed, he said he was feeling better than ever before, but did admit he has become more vigilant about his health.
He said: “I have always eaten healthily but now I’m extra careful.
“I don’t eat red meat and wheat and I’ve given up beer entirely – much as I miss it – because I just don’t want to take the risk of the cancer returning.”
Ben’sTVcredits includePCNate Roberts in The Bill, Justin in Holby City and Bruno Milligan in Footballers Wives.
He juggles his acting career with charity work, and is a patron for the Chestnut Tree House children’s charity based in Arundel.
Janet Parsons, communications manager for Chestnut Tree House said: “It’s absolutely fabulous, he’s such a great patron here at the charity and he’s a real ambassador and with somebody with such a public figure it’s amazing for the charity and him that he’s back on stage.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for him to be back up there acting – it’s what he loves doing and he’s really come through his tough spell brilliantly.
“It’s quite a demanding show as far as I can gather with lots of energetic dancing, so he’s done really well to get himself into peak physical fitness.”
The charity is now gearing up for their perfect ten celebrations as they host their tenth 10km run in Littlehampton to celebrate their tenth anniversary in September.
Later on in the year, the hospice will hold its annual Snowman Spectacular Ball on December 7 based on Raymond Biggs’ Snowman.
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