Devastated Countryfile star Adam Henson responds to wife's cancer diagnosis after 2 years

Following his now-wife Charlie Gilbert's cancer diagnosis, Countryfile presenter Adam Henson was left facing an uncertain future.

After Charlie fell ill over Christmas 2000, the couple initially believed she'd caught something from handling one of their farm animals. But by February 2021, the mum-of-two was still showing worrying symptoms, and further tests found a four-and-a-half centimetre tumour on her pancreas, located in a 'tricky position'.

Charlie and Adam had both known people who'd passed away from pancreatic cancer, and at the time, Charlie believed wholeheartedly that she would die. Facing critical life-or-death surgery, Charlie's terrible ordeal made her realise she wanted to marry Adam, now 58, who she'd been with on and off since their late teens.

During an interview with the Mirror in October 2023, Charlie explained that after "28 years together" it was easy to get a "bit complacent" but that getting married was suddenly "really important."

Adam Henson married Charlie Gilbert after 28 years together, with her diagnosis making the commitment feel 'really important'
Adam Henson married Charlie Gilbert after 28 years together, with her diagnosis making the commitment feel 'really important' -Credit:Dave Benett/Getty Images
Adam Henson came to the aid of a pregnant sheep on BBC's Countryfile
Countryfile's Adam Henson hasn't spoken out on the tragic time in his life until now -Credit:PAUL NICHOLLS TRINITY MIRROR

Charlie continued to add that they just "didn't know how long" they had left, and that she "wanted Adam to know I was committed to him."

Devoted Adam, who was left feeling "terrified" and "totally lost" following Charlie's diagnosis, accepted her proposal immediately, all the while fearing their married life would be cut brutally short.

On the day of their hastily arranged wedding, in September of that same year, Adam found himself weeping uncontrollably as they exchanged vows. As Charlie said 'I do' at Stroud Registry Office, surrounded by their closest family and friends, the new bride was mere hours away from undergoing a complex operation doctors hoped would give her a shot at one day meeting her grandchildren.

Adam recalled: "We cried a lot. Those vows cemented my emotions and let me say from the heart how I feel about Charlie. The registrar wasn't aware of our situation and said she'd never had such an emotional couple. For us, it was a way of saying goodbye to everyone."

He continued: "There were a lot of tears and a lot of emotion in the room. Charlie wore an ivory dress and looked stunning when she walked in with her mum. We were both crying through the vows, and the next very emotional time for me was giving a speech at the reception."

Adam Henson and Charlie Gilbert
The couple feared their married life would be cut short -Credit:David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock

Charlie added: "It was a horrible position to put everyone in because you're trying to be happy, but I was going into hospital the next day and didn't know if I'd be coming out. It was the best possible last day I could have had."

The day after the bittersweet ceremony, the family drove to London for Charlie's surgery. Following a sleepless night, to his enormous relief, heartsick Adam received a call from the hospital reassuring him his wife's surgery had gone well.

Charlie spent three days in intensive care and another week recovering in her private room before finally being allowed home to begin her long convalescence. Opening up two years after their agonising ordeal, the couple revealed that Charlie was back to work on a part-time basis while living from one six-monthly scan to the next.

Like many couples, the shock diagnosis has since led Adam and Charlie to re-evaluate their priorities in life with Adam admitting that "friends and family are even more important" to the couple now" and that whilst he would originally have pushed the children into being career-focused and get ahead in life, he now settles for "just have a lovely time" citing you "don't know what's around the corner."