‘Forgotten pensioner’ from Channel 4 documentary reveals he has cancer

John Foster, the ‘forgotten pensioner’ who appeared in a Channel 4 documentary earlier this week has revealed he has cancer.

The 76-year-old reduced viewers to tears with his story as he said he had no family left. He also puts out his will each night on the sofa in case something happens to him when no one is around.

John Foster on Britain's Forgotten Pensioners talks in his garden

John broke viewers hearts earlier this week (Credit: Channel 4)

Britain’s Forgotten Pensioners on Channel 4

The Channel 4 Dispatches programme: Britain’s Forgotten Pensioners aired on Wednesday June 7. John appeared as one four older people followed by the programme makers as they struggled to make ends meet through the winter months.

John from Sunderland, had never married or had children. He had lived with his sister, Joan, who also never married. She died, making him the last remaining person from his family.

“I cannot believe I’m the last one here,” he told interviewers. When asked if he ever felt sad, he replied: “You should say do you ever feel happy? Because I’m sad all the time.”

He revealed he has turned his fridge off and doesn’t put his lights on because of the cost of electricity.

Viewers were left devastated after watching the programme with one saying: “So awfully sad watching this Dispatches programme on
Channel 4.”

Another added: “Britain’s Forgotten Pensioners is absolutely heartbreaking. How can we be letting people live like this in this day and age?”

Among other cries of “this is heartbreaking” someone else said: “I can’t watch anymore, I’m fuming and crying at the same time.”

John Foster on Britain's Forgotten Pensioners lays his will and documents out on his sofa

John Foster on Britain's Forgotten Pensioners lays his will and documents out on his sofa

John’s bedtime routine saw him lay his will and funeral plans out on the sofa in case something should happen to him (Credit: Channel 4/YouTube)

‘Forgotten pensioner’ reveals cancer diagnosis

Following his appearance in the documentary, John has revealed to Mail Online that he has been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. John is currently undergoing chemotherapy and only able to drink liquid protein mixes.

“It’s no life, it’s not living, it’s just existing, things were bad enough but now I can’t even enjoy the little things,” he said.

“I used to love my breakfasts, sometimes I’d even have two, one of the only joys I had left, now I can’t eat anything, I’m sick to death.”

John continued: “I used to love pasties too, I’ve tried to eat small bits but they taste like the drugs I’m taking.

“Where the tumour is, it’s stopping any food getting down to my stomach and it gets stuck, it’s constantly feeling like something went down the wrong way, it’s awful.”

He is due to start radiotherapy in January 2024, but he told the publication he’d “rather not be here” and has asked the doctor to “end it all”. John also revealed he now leaves his paperwork out all day long rather than just laying it out at night following his diagnosis.

Read more: Merlin Griffiths thanks NHS as he shares cancer update

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Britain’s Forgotten Pensioners is available to watch on Channel 4 on demand. 

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