A LONG-TIME performer, who is suffering from terminal cancer, is set to return to the stage.

Will Chandler, who has been performing as Sir Cliff Richard since 2007, returns to the stage at the Joseph Rowntree, in York, tomorrow (Sunday, March 3) as part of a tribute performance.

Will said he was devastated when a terminal cancer diagnosis forced him to ‘down tools’ and step away from the stage.

The 61-year-old was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in 2022, a condition which has since progressed to further growths developing on his brain and lungs.

Having spent the best part of 20 years performing Cliff's hits, both on his own and alongside Johnny Crossley as Billy Fury, the past few years has been a difficult time for Will and he had assumed that his time as a performer had come to an end.

Thankfully, with the support of his incredible band, he’s able to take to the stage again this weekend in a performance set to delight fans and friends alike.

Will said: “I didn’t expect that, after my diagnosis, I’d ever have the chance to do it again, but the guys said let’s book in a show and if you’re up to it, let’s go.”

He credited the band with being the ‘best group of musicians that he had ever worked with’ and that without their support in helping set up the show, his return wouldn’t have been possible.

The Northern Echo: Will Chandler performs as Sir Cliff RichardWill Chandler performs as Sir Cliff Richard (Image: Provided)

The show is just under two hours long, including an interval, and is split between Cliff and Billy – offering a flavour of both stars to fans of rock and roll.

Thanks to the support granted by his band and the team at the theatre, the physical demand placed on Will has been greatly reduced and will allow him to focus on delivering the best show possible to those ready to put on their dancing shoes.

Having performed all across the nation, Will says he holds a candle for Yorkshire and couldn’t be more excited to return with fans travelling from far and wide to see him perform hits such as “Summer Holiday”, “Halfway to Paradise”, and “The Young Ones”.

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As a show of gratitude for the support that they’ve granted him during his time in palliative care, Will has pledged to give a portion of his fee to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Will said: “Even though they’re busy, the team at Macmillan always find the time to make you feel special. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I’ve received from them during my treatment.”

Tickets are still available for purchase through the Joseph Rowntree Theatre website and for anyone looking to attend, the show is set to be (in words of Sir Cliff) “absolutely fantastic”. The show starts at 7.30pm on the night.