Sean Lock fought skin cancer three decades before his death, and credited a one night stand for saving his life.
The comedian, who has died aged 58 from cancer, warned fans about the danger of not using sunscreen by sharing his own experience of developing skin cancer in his late 20s.
Lock found out he had cancer when a one night stand named Tina pointed out a patch of skin on his back that turned out to be a malignant melanoma.
After leaving school, Lock began work on building sites, and gave little consideration to protection from the sun while working outdoors.
He previously told the Daily Mail: ‘You could hardly ask a big Irish foreman, “Please could you rub some Ambre Solaire on my back?” And we didn’t wear hats, either. None of us took any notice of the fact that we were going red.’
In the late 80s, Lock then got into stand-up comedy and found success across the UK, eventually being named best live comic at the British Comedy Awards in 1990.
With his success came increased attention from women, and after the end of a long-term relationship, he found himself playing the field.
However, one particular night changed his life, with Lock explaining: ‘I was with a girl called Tina one night and if I hadn’t been, well, I’d be dead now. Because she noticed something about me that I hadn’t.
‘She said there was something weird on my back. I asked her what it looked like and she said it was a patch of skin which was black, misshapen, with a crusty texture and about the size of a 10p piece.
‘I had no idea how long it had been there. It didn’t hurt or itch, so there was nothing that would have drawn my attention to it. And being in the small of my back, it was not something you could easily see while looking in a mirror.’
Lock booked an appointment the next day with a dermatologist, who administered a local anaesthetic and cut away the patch.
Two weeks later, doctors told Lock that the results of the biopsy had shown that the patch was a malignant melanoma, and had he not been treated promptly, the cancer would have almost certainly spread into his lymphatic system in three to four months.
Following the scare, Lock took better care of himself with sun protection and urged fans to check themselves for any moles or unusual patches of skin.
He supported many cancer charities during his career, including doing shows for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
His family did not reveal what type of cancer Lock had died from, but comedian Alan Davies said that the star had ‘quietly wrestled with illness’ in recent years.
A statement from his agents Off The Kerb said that Lock died at home, surrounded by his family.
They said: ‘Sean was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.’
Lock was best known for his work on 8 Out of 10 Cats and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as his critically acclaimed comedy series 15 Storeys High.
He is survived by his wife Anoushka Nara Giltsoff, with whom he had two daughters and one son.
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