ONE minute they were performing in front of millions of TV viewers on The Voice, the next they were fighting a battle with throat cancer which threatened to end their musical career.
But a year later Pamela Wett and Rory Wilde are set to star in a Grand Charity Show at Whitby Pavilion to give something back to the Head and Neck Cancer Unit that saved Rory’s life.
In February 2016 the fabulous Whitby duo graced our TV screens performing as Wett ‘n’ Wilde in the blind auditions of The Voice.
Their rendition of Where We Belong by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes earned great praise from the judges. But they nearly did not make the show at all as Pamela had been coughing up blood on the day of the audition and had to be rushed into hospital. Luckily she made a speedy recovery and the BBC slotted them in later in the week.
Four months later it was Rory who found himself in hospital when his GP noticed he had a nasty cough and a biopsy revealed it was throat cancer.
It was a traumatic time as he feared treatment may affect his voice, but without it he might only have had six months left to live, so the singer was left with little choice.
Rory, 76, said he requested to have his treatment at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he had previously received excellent care when he had a heart bypass:
“I was worried about my voice, but the consultant assured me it was far enough away from my voice box. He said I may drop a tone but that it should not affect the quality.”
He underwent radiotherapy on his lingual tonsil (back of the tongue) and had to have a feeding tube inserted into his stomach, but his early diagnosis meant he did not require any surgery on his throat.
Eight months later Rory is now back performing with Pamela in their regular show at the Eden ArmsHotel in Durham.
“I feel absolutely wonderful,” he said. “When I was first diagnosed I thought it was the end of the road for me. It feels brilliant to come out the other side! The care I received was unbelievable.
“The best way I can put it is I feel like I have won the lottery without buying a ticket. So now we are
putting on this show to pay for my ticket!”
The musical entertainers, who first performed together in Calpe, Spain, 27 years ago, have a superb line-up planned for their charity show including performances from comedian Joey Howard, singer Bridie Coombes and her husband Joel and the LP Dance Centre.
Pamela, 70, added: “Forget Sunday Night at the Palladium, this is Sunday Night at the WhitbyPavilion! We’ll have singers, dancers and comedians among our special guests and there’s some fabulous raffle prizes to be won as well!”
Consultant head and neck surgeon Shane Lester said: “It’s great to see Rory recovered and getting back to what he loves doing. He is an inspiration to other people going through the same treatment. I’m sure it will be a fantastic night in Whitby and we are all very grateful for the work that Rory and Pamela are doing to raise awareness and funds for head and neck cancer. “
The Grand Charity Show takes place at Whitby Pavilion on Sunday 1 October 2017. Tickets are £7.50 from Julie Hunter in ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Outpatients at James Cook or Whitby Pavilion Box Office on 01947 458899. Find out more at wettnwilde.co.uk