John Farnham’s sons share update on his cancer recovery: “It was comforting to know that Australia was behind him”

Rob and James Farnham said their dad is a "performer at heart" and is trying to "make light of a bad situation"

John Farnham’s two sons have shared an update on the singer’s health, following the cancer surgery he underwent earlier this year.

Farnham had a cancerous growth removed from his mouth during an 11-hour surgery in August. In a post-surgery update, the singer’s wife Jillian confirmed that the operation had been successful, and outlined the coming months as a period of “recovery and healing.”

Farnham’s sons — Robert and James — have further elaborated on their father’s recovery during an interview on A Current Affair yesterday (October 10). Robert revealed that Farnham remains in a stable condition, and has kept in good spirits by entertaining the nurses and doctors who are treating him.


“He’s a performer at heart and he’s always trying to make people laugh, make light of a bad situation, which is just who he is,” Rob said. Rob and James went on to explain that they have remained by their father’s bedside since the surgery, and took time to thank their mother for being “so strong”.

“[Jillian] is an amazing woman, and has been strong through this whole thing and held us together at times,” Rob said. The pair also extended gratitude to the public, and relayed Farnham’s reaction to the outpouring of support following his diagnosis, which included a public website for well-wishes and a tribute during the AFL Grand Final from Robbie Williams.

“It was kind of comforting to know that Australia was behind him,” James said, “I know that he appreciated that. I remember when we first told him, he got teary. He never expects everyone to still love him. It was nice for him to hear that”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Rob and James said that their father’s return to the stage was “definitely not on his mind”, as the singer is instead focussing on “get[ting] better”. The pair continued: “It’s a long road to recovery still… there’s a long way to go”.

Last month, Farnham’s family updated fans on the singer’s “terrific progress” a month after the initial surgery. The family’s statement relayed that Farnham’s medical team was “very pleased” with the operation, and revealed that he’d been moved to a rehabilitation facility to continue his recovery journey.

“Each of these steps means things are moving in the right direction,” the statement read, “and for that we are enormously thankful.”