Comedian Janey Godley, 60, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

Comedian Janey Godley, 60, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

Scottish comedian Janey Godley, 60, who went viral with her Nicola Sturgeon pastiches urges women not to ignore symptoms as she reveals she’s been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

  • Janey Godley, 60, rose to fame during the pandemic with viral comedy videos 
  • She featured in Scottish Government Covid adverts before they were pulled 
  • Offensive tweets came to light after she was paid £12,000 by the government
  • Revealed she will undergo full hysterectomy following ovarian cancer diagnosis

Janey Godley has urged women not to dismiss symptoms of ovarian cancer as she revealed she’s set to undergo a full hysterectomy. 

The Scottish comedian – who is currently isolating at home in Glasgow with her husband and daughter with Covid – was forced to cut her UK tour short earlier this year after noticing ‘horrible pain’ in her stomach, bloating and exhaustion.     

The 60-year-old stand-up found viral fame with her dubbed pastiches of Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus news briefings during the pandemic.

She featured in Scottish Government coronavirus adverts but they were pulled after offensive tweets by her came to light following an investigation by the Daily Beast website.   

Appearing on Lorraine today, Janey said that while a cancer diagnosis is something ‘you can never prepare for’ – she feels positive and is resting up before undergoing the major operation. 

Appearing on Lorraine today, Janey Godley urged women not to dismiss symptoms of ovarian cancer as she revealed she’s set to undergo a full hysterectomy

‘I was in London and remember walking through Soho from Leister Square theatre’, explained Janey. ‘The tour had sold out and I had this horrible pain in my stomach and I couldn’t really eat. 

‘Every time I went to eat I felt full, I was bloated and peeing all the time, all the time. I just didn’t feel right. 

‘Exhausted, I could have slept all the way through the night right up to when I went on stage, [spend] two hours on stage and go to bed. So something was definitely wrong.’ 

After being encouraged to return home by her agent, Janey visited her GP who felt a mass around her stomach and sent her for blood tests, with results detecting a ‘problematic’ hormone. 

The 60-year-old stand-up, pictured in July this year, found viral fame with her dubbed pastiches of Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus news briefings during the pandemic before they were pulled over offensive tweets 

On the same day Janey underwent a scan which revealed a sack on her ovary which was diagnosed as ovarian cancer.  

‘It all happened so quickly’, she said. ‘Worst of all is we all have Covid, but I’m like the healthiest in the house, i’m absolutely fine. 

‘My husband and daughter are absolutely floored with Covid so I haven’t had time to process it all because i’ve been looking after them. I’ve been worried sick about them more than this bizarrely.’ 

Growths that can be cancerous or benign: What is an ovarian tumor?

Ovarian tumours are abnormal growths that start in the ovary and may be cancerous or benign.

When cancerous, nine out of ten arise from the cell that line the ovaries and fallopian tubes – known as epithelial ovarian cancer.

High-grade serous ovarian cancer makes up six out of every ten epithelial cases. Most actually in the fallopian tubes.

These growths tend to be treated via chemo and radiotherapy.  

Low-grade serous cancers account for just one in ten epithelial cases. These are slow growing and tend to be in younger women. 

Surgery is the most effective treatment for low-grade serous epithelial cancers.

Mucinous tumours make up a small percentage of epithelial ovarian cancer. 

Other types of ovarian tumours include:

Endometrioid: May be associated with endometriosis. A third of sufferers also have womb cancer or precancerous thickening of the uterus’ lining

Clear cell: Make up four per cent of ovarian tumours

Undifferentiated: Made up of cells that are very undeveloped, which makes it difficult to tell where they came from

Brenner: Account for 1-to-2 per cent of ovarian tumours. Are usually in women over 40 and are benign – less than five per cent are cancerous

Borderline: Also known as ‘tumours of low malignant potential’ – are very slow growing and unlikely to spread

Carcinosarcoma: Contain tissue that looks like both an epithelial and connective tissue cancer (sarcoma)

Source: Target Ovarian Cancer 

She added: ‘It’s one of those things you never prepare yourself for, someone saying “We’ve discovered cancer” 

‘So you just have to get on with what you’re doing and I can’t get the operation for seven weeks because of the Covid, so I’m having to mentally prepare myself but also speak out about it.’ 

She urged other women not to ignore unusual symptoms, adding that while she ‘let an awful lot of people down’ by cutting her tour short, nothing is more important than her health.  

‘Please don’t ignore it’, she said. ‘Don’t do what I did and wait till the end of the tour and see what happens. I didn’t, my agent said “No stop now, get this seen to” and I did. 

‘My instinct and his instinct were right and I had to let an awful lot of people down but my health comes first.’ 

Despite her diagnosis, Janey is keen to return to the stage but knows she must ‘prepare herself mentally and physically’ for her hysterectomy.  

‘I’m dying to get back on stage’, she said. ‘I feel fine. I want to get back on stage, I feel as though this is just a thing and i’ll be able to deal with it, just want to get out there and do my thing. 

‘I do have to prepare myself it’s a big operation, I have to prepare myself mentally and physically.’ 

Janey hit the headlines earlier this year when unearthed tweets sparked a furious backlash online.  

She referred to Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland in one post as ‘the black horse from USA’, and said of rapper 50 Cent ‘If it wasn’t the fact he is a big black man talking about his d**k I wouldn’t have known he was a rapper?’

The news broke soon after the Covid-19 ads featuring Ms Godley, for which she was paid £12,000, were released.

Godley has profusely apologised for the tweets and donated the fee she was paid by the Scottish Government to charity. 

She had already apologised for other messages on her Twitter feed but added a new apology in September, admitting that comments have ‘terrible, horrific undertones’.

When the tweets came to light in September, First Minister Sturgeon was accused of ‘casually dismissing racism’ after she described her apology as ‘dignified’. 

Addressing the unearthed tweets, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘Look – these things happen. And, you know, the important thing is that action is taken. 

‘The most important thing to me from the start of this pandemic has been the integrity of our public health message and that has involved difficult decisions for me over the course of the past 18 months and that’s the priority we have attached to this particular incident.

‘Janey has apologised – I think she’s been, you know, pretty straightforward and dignified in her apology. 

‘She’s a comedian – she said herself she thought that gave her licence to say things that she now accepts were completely out of order, and unacceptable.’

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