Miles Jupp

4 min read

Actor, comedian and father-of-five Miles Jupp was diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma after suffering a seizure in August 2021. The London-born 44-year-old, who lives in South Wales, underwent a craniotomy and returned home two days later. He is now being monitored with annual scans and working full-time as he shares tales of his brain tumour journey in his latest comedy show series, On I Bang.

Comedian Miles Jupp was diagnosed with a brain tumour

Miles tells his story …

Before being diagnosed I was living a busy, active life. I was travelling a lot for work and, in fact, I was working the day I discovered I was ill, in August 2021. I hadn’t had any symptoms I was aware of, so as far as I was concerned, my brain tumour came out of nowhere.

I’d been in London filming for the drama series Trigger Point, and was in a car on my way back to get changed, when I suddenly felt unwell. It was only a seven-minute journey and I got into the car feeling fine, but by the time I got where I was going, I knew there was something seriously wrong. I had lots of flashing in my left eye and when the car stopped, I honestly thought the ground was still moving. I had to be persuaded it wasn’t, which was terrifying.

“I had no ability to balance whatsoever and I saw the ground quickly coming towards me as I began having what I now know to be a seizure.”

Miles Jupp before his surgery 

The next thing I knew I had people holding me in the recovery position and a lady from work asking if I could tell her my wife’s phone number, which I was somehow able to do. When I came round after that I was in an ambulance, and once I’d been stabilized I was taken to West Middlesex Hospital, in West London. There I was given a CT scan, which showed some sort of growth in my brain. I was told it looked low-grade and was admitted to wait for an MRI scan. After having that the following day, I was told I had a meningioma.

“It was a lot to take in, but being in a clinical environment made what was happening easier to accept.”

Miles Jupp after his operation

I left hospital three days later knowing I was going to have brain surgery. Dealing with it myself was one thing but having to tell my family was much harder. I’d already spoken to the surgeon and was expecting to have six weeks to prepare, but there was a cancellation of a planned operation that was no longer needed, so my craniotomy went ahead after just three weeks, in September 2021. I was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital, in London, the day before having my surgery, which lasted about four hours, and discharged two days later with a large bandage around my head. Being told my operation was a success and being surrounded by people doing everything they could to get me better, meant I came out feeling very uplifted by the whole experience.

Miles Jupp with his dad whilst in hospital

“Immediately after my op, I had a lot of swelling, so it took a while for my vision to settle down.”

I had lost some of the peripheral vision on my left-hand side, but it gradually came back. I wasn’t able to sleep very well but I made sure I took life as gently as I could. I walked my children to school and generally tried to do things to develop my confidence. I remember waiting anxiously to find out for sure what type of tumour I had, and being relieved when my biopsy results confirmed it as a grade 1 meningioma about a month later. I didn’t do anything professionally for about six weeks, but my first job back was in Glasgow, one night a week for six weeks, working on the full series of Frankie Boyle's New World Order. I would zonk out for two or three days after each one, but I did it.

“By January 2022, I felt able to do things again and returned to stand-up comedy for the first time in three years.”

I performed at the Hammersmith Apollo in front of a crowd of 3,000 people. It was nerve-racking but after surgery, each time I did something for the first time, I got more confident. I’ve now been working full-time for about two years. As a belt and braces approach, I still take anti-seizure medication and I have monitoring scans roughly every 12 months. I’m pleased to say there’s nothing I can’t do now. I wouldn’t be nervous going for a run on my own or anything like that.

Comedian Miles Jupp on stage

I’m currently touring my new comedy show, On I Bang, which is about my experience of having a brain tumour. I’m really enjoying it. It’s nice having a proper story to tell and the audiences have been really great. Since starting it, I’ve received a lot of messages from people affected by brain tumours and some I’ve met in person at the stage door. It’s made me realise just how prevalent the disease is.

“I’m aware of how incredibly lucky I am to be able to do stand-up and talk about what’s happened to me, and I do make that very clear in my show.”

Miles Jupp

February 2024

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.

Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.

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