Dame Julie Walters has announced she’s giving up acting after blaming the stresses of the job on her cancer diagnosis.
The Educating Rita star, now 70, was diagnosed with stage-three bowel cancer while filming The Secret Garden in Yorkshire in 2018.
She was given the all clear but says he found that getting ill was some sort of strange “relief” as it meant that she could give up work.
Speaking to The Times’ Saturday Review, she admitted: “Part of me was going, ‘Oh my God! I’ve got cancer! Oh my God!’ And I’m dealing with the shock of that, and it’s all systems go to have it treated.
“But there was also an element of going, ‘I don’t have to do any more work. I can actually get off this treadmill.’ Because I had been working really hard and it seemed like a big excuse not to do anything. Cancer trumps everything.
“Acting caused it,” Dame Julie added. “Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so.
“It’s very stressful. You’re immediately above the parapet. You’re being judged. It’s a stressful job and I don’t sleep when I’m working. It’s not good for me.”
Julie revealed she had secretly beaten cancer in an emotional interview back in February.
She had surgery and chemotherapy following her diagnosis and was given the all clear.
Julie was referred to a gastric surgeon and underwent a CT scan after she had been suffering with stomach pain, heartburn and vomiting.
Doctors found two primary tumours in the television star’s large intestine and she had to have 30cm taken out of her colon in hospital.
But Dame Julie said she was more worried about her husband Grant Roffey’s reaction when she got sick.
She said: “So I came out and then Grant was waiting in the car because he’d taken me. And I’d say, ‘They’re worried it’s cancer.’
“I’ll never forget his face. And tears came into his eyes and I thought, ‘Oh Grant!’ So I then worried about him, more than [me].”