Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston has revealed she has mouth cancer and fears it could stop her talking and singing.
The singer is due to have part of her tongue removed but is concerned she may need more extensive surgery if more cancer is found.
“I think if they take more of my tongue away the chances of me singing, even talking, will be very slim,” she told the Daily Mirror.
The 57-year-old found out she had cancer just under two weeks ago.
Her agent confirmed the news to the BBC.
“After they told me, I got on the train and bawled my eyes out. Everyone was looking at me. I called my husband, and then Cheryl [Baker, her bandmate],” she told The Mirror.
“The thought of rejoining the band is now keeping me going. Being on stage with them is my happy place. Whatever you go through, it doesn’t matter when you are on stage.”
Jay has been doing gigs across the UK with original bandmates Cheryl and Mike Nolan plus newer member, Bobby McVay.
She said she had mimed on stage at a show last week after a meeting with her surgeon.
“I went home, got changed and went to the gig,” she said. “That’s showbusiness. The thing that’s stood me in good stead is that in the 1980s you mimed for TV. Cheryl has been singing with me where I do solo stuff to give it some welly.”
On the possibility of no longer being able to perform, she adds: “Cheryl and Mike aren’t getting a replacement, they say they will carry on as two. I would want them to carry on without me.”
Jay will have skin removed from her thigh to reconstruct her tongue and she’s hopeful she won’t need more surgery.
She joked that she had had an interesting conversation with her consultant regarding her famous skirt-tearing routine: “We talked about where to put the scar because I rip my skirt off, and they said they would try and make it higher so it doesn’t show so badly.”
Bucks Fizz became one of the UK’s biggest pop acts after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 with their famous skirt-ripping dance routine.
Their song, Making Your Mind Up, went to number one in nine countries, and was followed by hit singles including My Camera Never Lies and Land of Make Believe.
Jay, Cheryl, Mike and Bobby McVay are now called The Fizz.
The other original band member, Bobby G, now uses the Bucks Fizz name – his wife registered it as a trademark back in 2001.