Veteran British actor SIR Alan Bates is recovering from a battle with cancer.

According to his agent, ROSALIND CHATTO, the Gosford Park thespian is "on the mend" from the deadly disease, although it has not been confirmed what strain of the illness it is, or how long the 69-year-old has been suffering from it.

She says, "I am happy to say that he is recovering from cancer. I don't want to reveal what type it is, but I can tell you that he continued working all the time that he was suffering from it. He is definitely on the mend."

A family friend adds, "We are absolutely thrilled. Alan is really doing fantastically well now."

15/10/2003 13:41