Britain’s Got Talent star has 12 months to live after cancer diagnosis

Britain's Got Talent star has 12 months to live after cancer diagnosis

A Britain’s Got Talent contestant has been given the devastating news that he has just 12 months left to live following a cancer diagnosis.

Fans of the ITV talent show will remember Baptist minister Allan Finnegan as one of the 2020 series’ stars, who made it to the semi-finals with his stand-up act.

The 56-year-old dad of two and grandfather had been diagnosed with tumours in both eyes two years ago after seeking help for a problem with his eyesight, and was told that one of them was rare cancer ocular melanoma.

Allan Finnegan
'Britain's Got Talent' TV Show, Series 14, Episode 3, UK - 25 Apr 2020
Allan Finnegan reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent 2020. (ITV)

Although Finnegan has had treatment, his cancer had spread and he has now been told that it is untreatable, along with the heartbreaking news that he is thought to have just 12 months to live.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “Watching my wife and kids cry, seeing other people cry, that makes me more emotional,” and added that he had been prioritising time with his family: “Faith probably is important but not as important as people think. It’s made me think about time and time with my family. I’m actually off sick at the moment. I went to church today for the first time in a while.”

Finnegan also told how treatment over the last couple of years had put a stop to his comedy performances, explaining: “Because of my eye, I couldn’t drive for a while so I had to cancel my bookings. While that was happening I lost my confidence on stage.

“When I could drive again, I didn’t want it. I knew that I could do it but I was scared to. I’ve only done 10 gigs in two years and they’ve been ones I can’t get out of like fundraisers. I can’t say I’ve given up but I’ve sort of shied away.”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=FgqtDGweNlc%3Fsi%3DX9UFOC3Yx6UxX-4o

He is currently running a Go Fund Me for chemosaturation therapy, a potentially life-extending treatment not available on the NHS and which he would need three doses of at £50,000 each.

Britain’s Got Talent’s 2020 series was split into two parts because of the pandemic, with previously recorded episodes airing in April and May, and the rest of the series then resuming from August to October.

Finnegan was a contestant in semi-final two, where judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams saw the comedian minister’s co-stars magician Damien O’Brien and Latin dance duo Aaron and Jasmine go through to the final which was won by comic musician Jon Courtenay.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Jon Courtenay attends the National Television Awards 2021 at The O2 Arena on September 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Series winner Jon Courtenay had his own cancer battle. (WireImage)

Series winner Courtenay has faced his own cancer battle – he was diagnosed with melanoma during the series and after successful treatment, later discovered the cancer had spread to his neck which he needed surgery and more treatment for.

Courtenay told This Morning in 2021 how he had kept his diagnosis private, even during filming for the Britain’s Got Talent Christmas show where he turned up to filming with blue surgical sponge stapled to his head to keep an experimental skin graft in place.

He explained it away as a head injury and said the wardrobe department had made him a Santa hat to cover it up.

Courtenay said: “They made me a gorgeous Christmas hat with fur trim and bling… I don’t know what I would have worn if it hadn’t been Christmas.”

Britain’s Got Talent is expected to return to ITV later this year.

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