Shropshire Star

TV's Nick Owen opens up on cancer diagnosis and his childhood in Shrewsbury in Eric Smith podcast

Eric Smith's latest Shropshire Star podcast features Midlands Today broadcasting legend Nick Owen.

Episode three of In Conversation With Eric Smith features Midlands Today legend, Nick Owen

In this week's episode of In Conversation With Eric Smith, the former BBC Radio Shropshire presenter speaks to a familiar face, Nick Owen.

The Midlands Today news presenter opens up about his recent cancer diagnosis and subsequent passionate campaigning for prostate cancer testing, as well as his school years spent in Shropshire.

The 76-year-old was diagnosed with what he said was "extensive and aggressive" prostate cancer back in April this year.

"That wasn't a great day," he said. "In fact, it was probably the worst day of my life. However, within six weeks or so I had the operation - obviously a major operation is a major operation - but slowly but surely you recover.

"About three weeks ago I was told there was no trace of cancer. Emotionally, I feel fantastic. Still, physically I'm recovering, still feel absolutely exhausted at times.

"But I'm back in work two days a week at the BBC in Birmingham. I'm very grateful to be here, but it has been a traumatic old year."

As a child, Nick was sent off to boarding school in the county from his home in Hertfordshire. He was educated at Kingsland Grange - an independent boys school in Shrewsbury that closed in 2007.

He explains: "I started knowing Shropshire very well from the age of seven, and 11 years from the age of seven to 18 were spent mostly in Shropshire.

"Because my father loved his school, and Shrewsbury and Shropshire he wanted me to go there. So away I went at seven.

"But my goodness, was it tough. I still reflect on it now - being away from home, leaving a mother at that age - she was in tears, I was in tears. Everyone in my dormitory would be crying every night for the first few weeks."

Even at 18, Nick explains he struggled with being away from home.

But despite his struggles, he looks back fondly on Shrewsbury.

He said: "I loved walking round the Quarry, the Dingle and the narrow streets. All that character, Fish Street and Grope Lane, around St Alkmund's - it's a wonderful, wonderful town.

"I still find it fascinating today."