Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley paused Tuesday morning’s instalment of Good Morning Britain to pay tribute to BBC newsreader George Alagiah.

On Monday, the 65-year-old announced via his agent that he will be taking a break from presenting duties at the BBC as he deals with “a further spread of cancer”.

The BBC journalist was first diagnosed with the illness in 2014 and again in 2017.

After having been off air due to his illness, Alagiah had been back on television on the BBC News At Six following his previous treatment.

Statement on behalf of BBC's George Alagiah

A statement from Alagiah’s agent said he “is to take a break from studio duties to deal with a further spread of cancer”.

She added: “He was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in April 2014. In a letter to colleagues in the newsroom Mr Alagiah said his medical team had decided to hit the new tumour ‘hard and fast’.

“He is due to undergo a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next few months.

“He added that working on the programme ‘has kept me sane over the last few years’ and ‘I’m determined to come back’.”

Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on George Alagiah

Addressing the difficult news, Susanna said: "He has written to his colleagues in the newsroom and he is going to hit it hard and fast and have radiotherapy in the next few months.

"He says working has kept him sane over the past few days."

Richard said: "I have to say, you wouldn't think he would be battling an illness if you looked at him. He is looking fantastic."

He added: "He is going to hit it hard and fast."

Sri Lanka-born Alagiah underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat his advanced bowel cancer in 2014.

He returned to presenting duties in 2015 after making progress against the disease, and said he was a “richer person” for it.

His cancer returned in December 2017, and the presenter underwent further treatment before once again returning to work.

Last year he tested positive for coronavirus after deciding to stop appearing in the studio during the outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.