Janet Ellis revealed that she was exhausted by the pain and grief after John Leach’s death from cancer.

Blue Peter Star, now at 66, married TV producer Leach. They shared 35 years with each other before Leach’s death in 2020 from lung cancer.  

The actress and presenter, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s mother, said to The Telegraph that they knew their relationship would end and decided to live out their final moments together in the ‘now. 

Also, she revealed that John (whom she claims wasn’t interested in public displays of affections) had written a touching speech for her before his death and asked that this be read at the memorial service. 

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Actress Janet Ellis, 66, told The Telegraph how her late husband John Leach, who died in 2020, penned her a beautiful love letter which was read out at his funeral. The couple pictured together in 2018

Janet Ellis (66), actress, shared with The Telegraph that John Leach, her husband, wrote her a touching love letter, which was read at Leach’s funeral. In 2018, the couple was pictured together

Janet made a joke about John not writing her love letters in their marriage.  

‘I knew I was loved but that wasn’t who he was. She said that he then wrote a significant portion of his speech, which was a love letter to her. 

‘I had to wait 35 years and him dying to get a love letter, then it was a really big one, really big and public,’ she added. 

John was the one she loved, and she said that she had missed her energy. She also stated she feels exhausted from grief and living on her own. 

Star admitted she could live on her own, but misses having her husband there. 

The presenter, pictured in 2014, revealed that the couple knew they would not grow old together, but says they never discussed it, preferring to 'live in the now'

Pictured in 2014, the presenter revealed that they knew they wouldn’t grow up together but never talked about it. She said they prefer to live in the moment.

Janet stated that Leach’s death was never discussed with Janet after learning of his incurable cancer in 2017. 

They both knew that they were not going to grow older together. However, the couple never spoke about it. 

John was a father to Janet (34-year-old Jack) and Martha (30 years). He first developed cancer of the tonsils after complaining about a sore throat in 2016. 

Although his chances of success were good, he was also subject to heavy treatment that required him to have radiotherapy performed and then had his tonsils taken out.  Although he was finally given the all-clear several months later, his relief was brief. 

The producer received word that he wasn’t completely free of cancer in November 2017 and that secondary cancer had begun to form in his lungs.  

Pictured: Janet and John during the London Night Hike, a walk through London in aid of Maggie's Centres Cancer Treatment Charity in association with Open House London in 2007

Pictured are Janet (left) and John (right), during the London Night Hike. This was a walking tour through London to raise money for Maggie’s Centres Cancer Treatment Charity, in partnership with Open House London.

Janet, pictured in 1983, three years before she was introduced to John by friends. The pair married in 1988

Janet in 1983. This was three years prior to John’s introduction by her friends. They were married in 1988 

Secondary Cancer: When the disease spreads to other parts of your body 

Secondary cancer is when identical cancer cells are transferred from primary to secondary locations in the body. 

Cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body. 

The location of secondary cancer will determine the symptoms.   

While some types of secondary cancer can be treated, others cannot. The majority, however, are manageable. 

Your type of cancer will dictate the kind of treatment you receive. It can be treated over many years depending on where it is located. 

Source: Macmillan Cancer Support

John went through chemotherapy. The couple purchased a Sicilian house to be their retreat after he was discharged. 

Janet explained that the lockdown for Spring 2020 caused the chemo to be stopped. Janet also said Janet and her husband were fortunate to get to spend some time together. 

She said she doesn’t believe stopping treatment made a big difference to  John’s life expectancy. 

She revealed that John was with her family and she could say his goodbyes. 

Ellis said she was grateful to have been there for her husband’s death, even though many loved ones were kept apart by Covid-19.  

Janet was also the victim of breast cancer. She lost John and her mother to it. Janet supports Maggie’s as a charity that offers financial assistance and support for patients with cancer. 

Maggie Keswick Jencks founded the centre in 1990 after being told that her breast cancer had returned after five years. 

Janet shared that her husband was helped by the charity through self-hypnosis and the ability to learn daily. 

While managing her grief, she admitted that she’d visit Maggie’s West London.  

Janet admitted she finds life without her husband difficult, but added she doesn't mind being alone. Pictured in October at the special charity performance of "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" in aid of Refuge at the Strand Palace Hotel

Janet said that Janet finds it difficult to live without her husband but she does not mind living alone. Pictured in October at the special charity performance of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” in aid of Refuge at the Strand Palace Hotel