Adele Roberts: I used to be in a very dark place

The radio presenter recalled the moment in October 2021 when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Adele Roberts.
Adele Roberts. (Ian West/PA)

Former Radio 1 presenter Adele Roberts has said that she used to be in a “very dark place” and hopes a new book will help others deal with challenges in their lives.

The radio DJ, 45, is continuing to live with a stoma bag after being declared cancer-free in 2022 and she has previously revealed that her skin has been damaged by the chemotherapy.

Roberts recalled the moment in October 2021 when she was told about her condition on Thursday’s BBC Breakfast.

Adele Roberts with her Dancing On Ice partner Mark Hanretty.
Adele Roberts with her Dancing On Ice partner Mark Hanretty. (Ian West/PA)

She said: “I thought I was (going to) die and I thought that it was my fault and they were my first two questions to the consultant.

“And I felt guilt as well, guilt that I’d have to tell my family members, you know, that I was ill.. and that was the worst thing really, not hearing I had cancer, but having to tell my mum, that broke my heart.

“But then that also gave me the fight to just do what you can and I knew that a lot of it was out of my control but what was in my control was staying strong spiritually and mentally.”

Roberts also said that she “went into panic mode” when she was first diagnosed but found “brave people talking about their lived experience with cancer” online.

She made the final of Dancing On Ice in March but lost out to soap star Ryan Thomas and her stint saw her dedicate one of her performances to her mother, who died on January 4 at the age of 61.

Roberts is releasing the book Personal Best: From Rock Bottom To The Top of The World, which explores her cancer fight, challenges, being on Channel 4’s Big Brother in 2002, and the support of her partner Kate Holderness.

Adele Roberts and her partner Kate Holderness
Adele Roberts and her partner Kate Holderness (Danny Lawson/PA)

She said that she “used to be in a very dark place” and has learned to do “self care”.

Roberts said: “I’m trying to like unfurl and take up space and be the change I needed to see when I was younger.”

She added: “I think that’s another reason why I’m so excited to have this book and have a stoma on the front.

“Because I think representation is so important and if you don’t see yourself when you’re younger, on TV and media, it makes you feel like there’s something wrong with (you).”

Roberts that there has “not been a date set yet” for her marrying Holderness, but would in the future.

She also said that she asked her to marry her at the outset of their relationship, around 20 years ago, when gay marriage was illegal and joked she would now “have to pay for a wedding” since the law changed.