Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham diagnosed with cancer at 65

Actress: 'Nothing's going to stop me coming back next year'

Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham says she is "devastated" at having to cancel a theatre tour after her cancer diagnosis.

The 65-year-old, well-known for her roles on Loose Women and in the Oxo TV adverts, was due to tour Kay Mellor's A Passionate Woman, starting at Sheffield's Lyceum in September. But this has been cancelled while she undergoes treatment.

In a statement, Bellingham said: “I'm devastated not to be able to honour my commitments to the play this year.

“But having toured many times before, I'm aware of the sheer stamina needed and I need to prioritise my recovery.

“That said, nothing's going to stop me coming back next year, and I can't wait to be 'a passionate woman'.”

Bellingham has been a high-profile supporter of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support since her sister Barbara died from lung cancer.

The mother-of-two, who portrayed the mother of a squabbling family in the long-running series of Oxo adverts in the 1980s, has also had parts in All Creatures Great and Small and the sitcom Second Thoughts.

She also presents ITV series Country House Sunday and was a regular panellist on talk show Loose Women.

Sheffield Theatres artistic director Daniel Evans said: “A Passionate Woman is an extraordinary play about an extraordinary woman, and that woman is Lynda Bellingham.

“She is the heart of this production, and it's inconceivable that we would do it without her.”