I made headlines recently with news of my mouth cancer and the treatment and surgery I  received, as a result. On the day the news broke, as well as being front page  on countless newspapers, I spoke on the phone to Anne Diamond, the guest presenter on Channel 5’s “The Wright Stuff”. The following day, I appeared on the programme to talk more about it.

Click Here to watch.


On July 10th 2018 I went into Guy’s Hospital in London to undergo the surgery. After a short recuperation I was back on our screens talking about my experience.

Click the images on the right to view.



It’s been a trying time but I have also been given so much support from friends and family it has lifted my spirits.

I knew at the end of last year that things were going in the wrong direction but it took a few months before I went back to get another check up… which of course confirmed my fears.. all was not well. 


I think I’m going to focus on what’s important now.. really important and start ticking off the things on my bucket list.

You can go crazy trying to work out why.. diet, stress, genetics but at the end of the day it’s about today and the future.


I feel like I’ve aged 10 years but slowly I hope I can claw a few back.. I’m not going to rush anymore I’m not going to keep remembering disappointment or anything negative... I’m going to love everyday I’ve been granted.


I hope you keep an eye on your health it may save your life one day !

Never be scared to get a second opinion.


I hope to help with funding for Guys head and neck department from now on and anyway you can help me raise awareness about the increase in mouth cancers then I would be very grateful.


Wishing you all a beautiful blessed day xx


Jay Aston talksto Lorraine Kelly about her recovery from Mouth Cancer on ITv




Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston says mouth cancer nightmare has left her fearing for her voice

The Eurovision winner, 57, opens up about her cancer battle ahead of surgery to remove a section of her tongue - an operation which could destroy her chances of performing again


Jay Aston is determined to keep working despite mouth cancer 

(Image: Carl Fox)

Bucks Fizz singer Jay Aston has told of her determination to keep performing, despite having mouth cancer which could stop her singing and even talking.

The Eurovision winner, 57, opened up about her battle ahead of surgery to remove a section of her tongue.

Doctors have warned the operation could destroy her chances of performing again. And if more cancer is found, and more of her tongue needs to be removed, there is a risk she will be robbed of speech, too.


Jay with her 15-year-old, Josie

But Jay, who lives in Kent with her 15-year-old daughter Josie and ­musician husband Dave Colquhoun, is desperately trying to remain ­positive for her family and bandmates.

The singer, famed for her skirt-ripping routine with Cheryl Baker, says: “I think if they take more of my tongue away the chances of me singing, even talking, will be very slim.”

Crumbling as she contemplates an even worse outcome, she says: “I have a young daughter, I want to see her grow up, I want to see her get married and see her grandchildren.

“The first thing I said [after the diagnosis] is, ‘I want to be here for her.’

After they told me, I got on the train and bawled my eyes out. Everyone was looking at me. I called my husband, and then Cheryl.“

The thought of rejoining the band is now keeping me going. Being on stage with them is my happy place. Whatever you go through, it doesn’t matter when you are on stage.”

Jay has been doing gigs in Britain with original bandmates Cheryl, 64, and Mike Nolan, 63. THEIR TUN

Before a biopsy on her tongue she recorded vocals to mime over at gigs, determined to keep performing.

 And incredibly, despite getting the cancer diagnosis just under two weeks ago, Jay stuck to her plan and mimed on stage as recently as Thursday after a meeting with her surgeon.

“I went home, got changed and went to the gig,” she says. “That’s showbusiness. The thing that’s stood me in good stead is that in the 1980s you mimed for TV. Cheryl has been singing with me where I do solo stuff to give it some welly.”

Discussing the possibility of no longer being able to perform, she adds: “Cheryl and Mike aren’t getting a replacement, they say they will carry on as two. I would want them to carry on without me.


Bobby, Jay, Cheryl and Mike in 1981 

(Image: Hulton Archive)

 But I’m not allowing myself to imagine that. I want to be back on stage.” Doctors are hopeful Jay’s cancer has been caught early and the upcoming operation will remove it all.

They will also remove lymph glands from her neck to ensure it hasn’t spread. If more is found, Jay believes radiotherapy would be the next step before any further debilitating surgery.

The timing of her diagnosis, as the band enjoys a new lease of life, could not be more upsetting.

The star left Bucks Fizz in 1985, four years after they won Eurovision with Making Your Mind Up, in part due to the emotional fallout of a shocking tour bus crash which came close to killing them all. It left Jay with ­debilitating back injuries.

There were years of acrimony around contractual disputes and she did not speak to Cheryl for 23 years.


With musician husband Dave Colquhoun


After the band decided to re-form in 2004, Mike, Jay and Cheryl became embroiled in a legal feud with former original bandmate Bobby G.

His wife Heidi Manton – who joined the group after Jay left – had trademarked the name Bucks Fizz.

The trio eventually went with the name The Fizz, recruiting Sweet Dreams singer Bobby McVay to join them in 2015. He later left the group for personal reasons.

Now a trio again, they have begun collaborating on an album deal with legendary pop producer Mike Stock, while performing a string of sell-out gigs.

Jay learned she had pre-cancerous cells in April after years of screening, due to a rash on her tongue called lichen planus, an auto-immune condition.

She was told she would need a slim slice removed for the biopsy, leaving her initially unable to speak clearly, or sing, for a number of months. Only 2% of cases in this situation turn out to be cancer.

As Jay had no physical symptoms apart from fatigue, which she put down to the menopause, she says she wasn’t too concerned.

But knowing her voice would be affected by the biopsy, Jay did studio recordings early, as well as the vocals for miming.

She adds: “It has been emotional on stage, yes.

“A couple of fans said I looked upset when I did the last Making Your Mind Up. There were nearly tears, but the audience lift you. I just don’t want to lose that. I love performing, it’s my life.” Within weeks, Jay will have around a centimetre of tongue removed on one side, from back to front.

Doctors predict that, as long as no further surgery is needed, she should be able to sing again in around a year, although nothing is guaranteed.


Cheryl has helped Jay with solos 

(Image: Redferns)

 “They can’t say whether I’ll be able to sing like I used to,” she says. “It’s made me realise I completely took my singing for granted. Now I realise the talent I had is possibly going to go.”

This prospect is terrifying for Jay, even if no more cancer is found. “When I wasn’t in the band I was a singing teacher,” she explains.

 “It’s difficult to even write songs without putting the vocal down. I would have to rethink my whole life. I absolutely need the band, I would ­probably have to sell my home.”

But doctors are doing all they can to assist her recovery. Jay will also have skin removed from her upper thigh in order to reconstruct her tongue.

The star, who has a piano in her bedroom and is always singing around the house, can’t help but laugh as she recalls the conversation with her surgeon about her crucial skirt-tearing routine.

“We talked about where to put the scar because I rip my skirt off, and they said they would try and make it higher so it doesn’t show so badly,” she says.

“But I can always hide my legs. If I can’t sing, I can’t make a living.”

https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article12791729.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/PROD-Screen-Shot-2017-09-28-at-155109JPG.jpgEurovision skirt-ripping moment

 Doctors have not been able to explain why healthy gym-goer Jay, who barely drinks alcohol, has developed mouth cancer. “I smoked for two years, but not heavily,” she says. “And I’m almost teetotal, always have been.

“The band used to laugh at me. Everyone gave us bucks fizz, but I’d have a couple of sips for the photograph and put the glass down.”

The star believes there may be genetic causes. She nursed her mother Hilda through bowel cancer, and four aunts and uncles battled cancer, although none had mouth cancer. She believes stress from nursing her mum and her dad, who had Alzheimer’s, plus the near-fatal bus crash could have contributed, too.

“This is my second visit to the edge,” she adds. But she refuses to feel anger and is instead putting her faith in her doctors, and her fans.

Jay says: “I am determined to be back this summer. I’ll mime, I won’t be able to dance, and skirt-ripping will be interest­­ing. But it’s getting me through.

“Bucks Fizz had a stupid song, we had a bit of Velcro that made all the ­difference. But, incredibly, there is this love for the band. The love could be the thing that carries me. I hope so, I do hope it’s a happy ending.”

Drinkers and smokers at higher risk

Mouth cancer is far less common in the UK than elsewhere in the world, accounting for around 2% of cancers diagnosed here.

It is diagnosed when a tumour develops on the surface of the tongue, in the lining of the cheeks, in the roof of the mouth or in the gums or lips.

Less commonly, they develop in the tonsils, saliva glands or the pharynx, which connects the mouth to the windpipe.

Symptoms can include mouth ulcers that don’t heal quickly, unexplained lumps, loose teeth, numbness or a change in speech.

White or red patches on the tongue or mouth lining, like Jay experienced, can also be a sign.

Heavy smokers and drinkers and people who have had the HPV virus are at high risk.












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By Emily Retter, SeNIOR features writer

22:16, 25 JUN 2018