SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND star ANDY WHITFIELD has been diagnosed with cancer.
Production on the second season of the U.S. show was due to begin in New Zealand in the coming weeks but filming has been postponed to allow Whitfield time to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
And the Welsh star, who plays gladiator slave Spartacus in the hard-hitting cable series, is confident he will beat the disease - because doctors detected it in its early stages.
He says, "I'm receiving excellent care, and am feeling strong, positive and determined with an army of support behind me."
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The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.