Wilko Johnson has revealed that his recent cancer diagnosis, for which he has refused treatment, has made him "feel vividly alive" during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme, which airs tonight at 7.15pm.
Wilko gave an insightful interview into his life and condition, speaking of the strange sense of "euphoria" that came with his diagnosis, something which wiped away the bouts of depression he had been struggling with prior to his diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer. He told the show's presenter John Wilson, "The things that used to bring me down, or worry me, or annoy me, they don't matter anymore - and that's when you sit thinking 'Wow, why didn't I work this out before? Why didn't I work out before that it's just the moment you're in that matters?'"
The 65-year-old guitarist, who also played with Ian Dury and the Blockheads after Dr Feelgood folded, also admitted that he was weary not to get himself checked out when his suspicions first arose that he might be ill, saying, "I noticed the symptoms a few months ago - there was this lump in my stomach. I treated it by ignoring it and hoping it would go away. When I went in for the diagnosis and the doctor told me 'You've got cancer' it was quite plain it was an inoperable thing, there was nothing they could do."
Wilko unveiled plans to go on a whistle-stop farewell tour of the UK earlier this month, shortly after the news of his illness was made public via his Facebook page. He was already due to perform three shows at Sheffield's Greystones in February (16-18) following a brief, four date-long tour of France and will start his final tour in March, playing at London's Koko (6), Bilston's Robin (7), the Holmfirth Picturedome (8) and Glasgow's ABC (9).