DJ Adele Roberts praises partner Kate Holderness as she opens up on cancer fight and using stoma bag

BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts has praised her partner Kate Holderness for being an “absolute angel” – and joked she will have to marry her.

By Connie Evans, PA
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 2:57 pm

The 43-year-old former Rock FM presenter revealed in October she was undergoing treatment for stomach cancer and later had a tumour removed through surgery.

Speaking to Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 Live, Roberts, who is bisexual and a campaigner for LGBT rights, said of her girlfriend: “We’ve just got stronger and closer and it’s made me realise what an incredible human she is.

“She’s been my strength and without her I don’t think I’d be this upbeat. I think it would have really got to me mentally… but every morning I see Kate I just feel blessed to wake up to her every single day.

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Adele Roberts and partner Kate Holderness at the DIVA Awards 2022 in London last month

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“She’s pretty much become my carer. She’s gone above and beyond what a relationship should be and she’s been everything to me. She’s helped me dress my stoma. She’s cared for me. She’s been my nurse. She’s been my mentor. She really loves me. I’m going to have to marry her!

“I think I look up to her now. I always knew she was very special. And I knew she was a good person. But now… she is somebody that I look to for inspiration.”

Southport-born Roberts now uses a stoma bag, which attaches to her abdomen and collects her faeces, and has also been undergoing chemotherapy.

Reflecting on her diagnosis, she told Munchetty: “When I first got diagnosed, my initial thought was, ‘Am I going to die?’ and my second thought was, ‘Is it my fault?’.

“I think since the day I got diagnosed, I have been on this treadmill, just trying to move forward, not look backwards…”

Roberts also spoke about podcast host Dame Deborah James, who recently revealed she is receiving end-of-life care after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

“It hit me hard,” she said.

“It feels a little bit selfish saying that because it is not about me. It’s about Deborah.

“The heart-breaking reality of what she is going through, but then seeing her be so strong and give back to people in her time of need. (I) don’t know how she does it. She is amazing. And it is a pleasure for me to watch that journey unfold.”

On the programme, Roberts received praise and thanks from Oliver and Ailish, two young people who have also had stomas fitted, for her efforts to raise awareness for individuals who have stomas.

Oliver said: “Keep up your awareness. You’ve helped me and you just helped so many… so many people. All ages, genders, so just keep up what you’re doing and keep in contact as well.”

Ailish added: “I think from a woman’s perspective… just thank you for being unapologetically yourself. Because of the position that you’re in, you could have chosen to not tell anyone and to keep it from the public eye, but you’ve gone the opposite way. And I think it’s just really inspiring and it’s really helped.”