The veteran actor admitted he didn’t even tell his children but is now breaking his silence to raise awareness of the disease

EastEnders star Christopher Timothy has revealed a secret battle with prostate cancer after being diagnosed in 2008.

The 77-year-old – who currently plays Ted Murray in the BBC One soap – didn’t even tell his children about his illness until he received the all clear from his doctors.

‘I had prostate cancer but I’ve been clear for five years,’ revealed Christopher. ‘There were only one or two people who knew.

‘At the time I discovered that I had prostate cancer, it was not long after my first wife had died, so my children had lost their mum.

‘I felt that to tell them that I had prostate cancer, while I knew that I had it and there was a threat of some sort, I felt that it would be wise not to make things worse for them.’

EastEnders - Ted Joyce

He added to the Daily Star on Sunday: ‘The death of their mum was a shock and my eldest daughter said at the funeral, “Please look after yourself, Dad”. I realised then that it was right not to tell them.’

Christopher was first diagnosed in 2008 and only told his seven, now grown-up children, when he was finally given the all-clear in 2013.

The actor now dedicates his time to working with Prostate Cancer UK in order to raise awareness of the disease, with particular focus on urging men to get themselves checked – his sons included.

‘I am talking publicly now because it’s only literally in the last fortnight, after talking to the charity, that I discovered the heredity problem. It shocked me,’ he added.

‘I have four sons. Three of them are biologically mine and they are at significant risk, but not as high as my adopted son who is at an even higher risk. I have now urged them to get tested and they absolutely will. I will nag them about it.’