Gaby Roslin said she shouldn’t say “bum or bum” when asked to speak on TV about colon cancer

Margaret Hussey chats with the TV presenter who’s become quite an expert on our guts

Talking about a bowel movement with a celebrity isn’t an everyday conversation — but it’s kind of become a favorite topic for Gaby Roslin.

Her father Clive had colon cancer, her husband David lives with ulcerative colitis and she was diagnosed with a wheat allergy in her early thirties.

“When Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996, I suddenly realized I needed to learn more about health and nutrition,” says Gaby, 57.

“I really wanted to get to the bottom of this, no pun intended! I still do. I read real medical papers, not just magazines.

“When he got out of the hospital, we did something with Prince Charles for a colon cancer charity. It was for a news show and they were like, ‘Clive, can we talk to you and Gaby? Just to warn you, please don’t say Bottom or Poo’.

“I looked at him and said, ‘Wait a minute, we’re talking about colon cancer and you don’t want us to say po or poo?’

“My father, who was 62 at the time, said, ‘Well, that’s ridiculous. I’m a colorectal cancer survivor and I deeply believe that had I known more about it and been aware of the symptoms I would have gone for a screening.

Her father Clive Roslin had colon cancer


Alpha Photo Press Agency Ltd.)

Luckily times have changed and Gaby firmly believes that the more we talk, the more we learn.

“I was up my butt for the camera, I had my exams. Diet is key, exercise is key, and if you’re called for a screening, please go, please,” she says.

Her husband, the publisher David Osman, whom she married in 2013, is also checked regularly.

For years he has suffered from ulcerative colitis – a long-term condition in which the colon and rectum become inflamed and the lining of the colon develops ulcers.

Since 2019, David has been taking a water-based probiotic, Symprove, and Gaby, who is now an ambassador for the brand, says the results have been amazing.

“David was advised to try it by a nutritionist friend of his,” she says. “It changed my husband’s world.

“A while after he started taking it, he went to his ‘internal’ camera check and they said there was no inflammation at all. You really couldn’t believe the difference. It was extraordinary.”

Seeing the results firsthand convinced Gaby, who was diagnosed with wheat allergy 25 years ago, to try it herself.

“I had to go gluten-free to survive,” she says. “I try to cook fresh every night. I make fresh salmon, miso sauce, and lots of roasted veggies. Eat the rainbow as they say.

Her husband is checked regularly


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She was told not to say “butt or butt” on TV when talking about colon cancer

“But I’ve never had normal bowel movements and then suddenly when I took Symprove, my word, it changed my life. This absorbs good gut bacteria and eliminates bad gut bacteria. Not only does it help me pass stools and feel better – no bloating like I used to have – but it also lifts my spirits.

“We should all go with our gut and I mean that physically, mentally and emotionally.”

She now takes a shot every morning before a workout, followed by breakfast “a huge one with eggs, spinach, mushrooms, beetroot, avocado and some apple cider vinegar.

“I think people are more aware of dieting, but they also don’t want to be preached about,” she says. “I don’t pretend to be a guru out there.”

It’s now four years since Gaby gave up alcohol and the former The Big Breakfast presenter wishes she had done it sooner. She walks eight miles a day on average and works out five days a week. “I do weights at home. I follow a few workouts online. I love feeling fit, it just fixes your head. I’m no saint though – I love my ice cream.”

Lockdown saw her at home in London with David and their daughters Libbi-Jack, 20, and Amelie, 15. Clive, a former BBC announcer, is now in his late eighties and lives nearby.

“Dad walks a mile and a half every morning,” says Gaby, “but living alone during lockdown has been difficult.”

She is just as open to her daughters on health issues


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After celebrating 35 years in show business in January, Gaby works for BBC Radio London, has stations on Virgin Radio and records episodes of her eponymous podcast.

“I am blessed to have the career that I absolutely love and I feel very blessed to be married with two children.”

She is just as open with her daughters when it comes to health issues, talking about swabs and mammograms.

“I think the more we talk about her, the better. I went for mammography and posted a picture of two melons and a bra on my Instagram!”

Her Instagram account is full of upbeat content and Gaby seems to be a naturally positive person. Is she ever stressed?

“Not really,” she says. “If you can put a smile on someone’s face, then you win.”

That’s not to say she didn’t experience her own heartbreak after losing her mother to lung cancer in 1997, the day her father got the all clear following his colon cancer treatment.

“For years people have said, ‘Oh, you’re always so happy.’ And my answer was always ‘Yes, I’m so sorry’. But after my mother died, I thought, ‘I’ll never apologize again for being happy again’.”

  • For details on Symprove, visit

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