The Great British Bake Off’s Sue Perkins has revealed that she’s been living with a brain tumour for the past eight years – and it’s left her unable to have children.
Sue, who is in a relationship with fellow TV presenter Anna Richardson, said that the consultant who delivered the news about her infertility did so in a rather insensitive way.
In an extract from her autobiography, Spectacles, Sue wrote that the doctor began questioning her about her relationship status, but on discovering that she was a lesbian, said: ‘Oh, OK. Well that makes it easier. You’re infertile. You can’t have kids.’
‘It really hit me, as it hits a lot of people, I’m sure, when it’s too late, this is not going to happen,’ she writes. ‘And although I never yearned to physically have my own child, it felt like bereavement,’ she explained.
The TV presenter, 45, found out about the benign growth on her pituitary gland whilst undergoing tests for the BBC show Supersizers, a TV show which saw her consuming food from various eras.
‘I was at a point where I was spending so much of my life doing TV that I only found out about my real life through a television procedure,’ Sue detailed in an interview with Good Housekeeping. ‘I didn’t have the time to go to the doctor in real life. That’s what really made me think that the balance (in my life) was wrong.’
‘I’m lucky that it’s benign so it’s not in itself a worrying thing. Sometimes it’s big and makes me mad, and sometimes it’s small and is in the background. Sometimes it screws up my hormones. I have various tests now to make sure the side effects aren’t too onerous.’
Sue has also spoken about the fact that her diagnosis was made more poignant by the arrival of her GBBO co-star Mel Giedroyc’s two children, saying ‘When she had her first child I thought: this is an experience I won’t have or share.’ However, she now says that rather than ‘destroying’ their friendship, they simply ‘have very different lives and different experiences now.’
Since the news about her growth was revealed, Sue has begun receiving messages of support from fans, and has since tweeted:
‘Ta for sweet tweets about my prolactinoma. It’s benign & non-symptomatic. All fine, Let’s focus on those less fortunate in the world. X’