Grange Hill and EastEnders star reveals cancer diagnosis after noticing ‘unusual spot’

Former Grange Hill favourite Lee MacDonald has revealed he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

The 56-year-old actor opened up about his recent health battle online after he went to the doctors over concerns about an “unusual” spot on his face. Weeks later, the TV star was told it was cancerous and has since started treatment.

Viewers will know the soap star best for his role as Zammo on the 1980s BBC children’s drama, whose hard-hitting storylines broke TV boundaries at the time. On Thursday (June 27), the former EastEnders star took to social media to share his diagnosis with his loyal legion of fans online.

 

He wrote: “Went to the doctors today to check an unusual spot on my face! Doctor says it’s cancer! As we [get] older, please keep an eye on anything unusual and hopefully get it looked at early!!! Booked in to get it sorted over the next couple of days! [fingers crossed emoji, three heart emojis]”

 

EastEnders icon unrecognisable 21 years after history-making TV death storylinedailystar
Blue Peter has been named as one of the most nostalgic kids’ TV shows for British parents
Former Blue Peter presenters reunite – to recreate iconic arts and crafts project from the showdailystar
It didn’t take long before his concerned fans flooded the comments section to pass on their get well soon messages. One user penned: “Glad you got it checked out – here’s to a speedy resolution” as another agreed: “Thank you for highlighting this, Lee. Good luck to you over the next couple of days!”

A third chimed in with: “Hope all goes well, Lee. It’s good you got it checked early!” The TV star first catapulted to fame when he landed the role of Samuel Maguire – who was fondly known as cheeky chappy Zammo on the high school drama.Grange Hill Zammo star Lee MacDonald has been diagnosed with skin cancer

His loveable character attended the fictional north London school between 1982 and 1987 and swiftly became a fan favourite on the show. The actor featured in some of the show’s most famous and controversial storylines throughout its 30-year reign.

He went to the doctors after discovering an “unusual spot”
Loyal fans of the programme will remember how his character spiralled into a heroin addiction, which took a dramatic turn in a nail-biting overdose scene. During the success of the gripping storyline, the stars of the children’s show helped to spearhead anti-drug campaign Just Say No.

The cast went on to release a charity single, which even landed a spot in the Top 10. Despite the success of the campaign, Lee confessed in 2007 that he subsequently struggled to get an acting gig in his late teens after the show due to his association with drugs on Grange Hill.

Speaking to fan site Grange Hill Gold, he explained: “After [the new series] was out, my agent said, ‘Nobody wants you anymore because it’s a drugs related character. So nobody wants to use you’.

Fans have passed on their get well messages online
“I lost loads of work because adults didn’t want me at the club because it was drugs related. But that’s the power of telly… More so in the 80s when there was only a couple of channels.

“Things were taken a lot more seriously than they are now. There’s so much stuff that kids watch now that is outrageous.” Since leaving the show in 1987, Lee made several cameo appearances in The Bill, Birds Of A Feather and Neighbours.

Taking a break from his acting, the star went on to become a locksmith and opened his own book store before returning to Soapland in 2019 as bus driver Terry on EastEnders.

Related articles

EastEnders icon eyes up return as fans demand matriarch makes a comeback

EastEnders icon eyes up return as fans demand matriarch makes a comeback The TV star, 55, starred on EastEnders from 2007 to 2013, and as one of…

EastEnders Mehmet Osman star’s incredible transformation 39 years after leaving BBC soap

Since its debut in 1985, BBC’s flagship soap EastEnders has seen a plethora of characters grace Albert Square. However, only a select few have gone on to…

EastEnders’ legend Jake Wood looks almost unrecognisable in forgotten BBC role

EastEnders’ legend Jake Wood looks almost unrecognisable in forgotten BBC role Walford womaniser Max Branning took the square by storm when he arrived in June 2006. Jim…

EastEnders icon admits she ‘barely slept’ after fearing teenage son may die

EastEnders icon admits she ‘barely slept’ after fearing teenage son may die We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and improve our…

Bobby’s explosive EastEnders exit confirmed in graveyard shocker as new pictures leak huge spoilers

Bobby’s explosive EastEnders exit confirmed in graveyard shocker as new pictures leak huge spoilers Bobby Beale’s (Clay Milner Russell) past will come back to haunt him in…

Rose Ayling-Ellis debuts very different new look as fans brand it ‘gorgeous’

Rose Ayling-Ellis debuts very different new look as fans brand it ‘gorgeous’ Former EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis wowed fans with her stunning new hair do while at…