Ronnie Wood says beating lung cancer was like being given a “get out of jail free card”

The Rolling Stones guitarist opened up about his battle with cancer in a new documentary called 'Somebody Up There Likes Me'

Ronnie Wood has said that beating lung cancer was like being given a “get out of jail free card.”

The Rolling Stones guitarist revealed back in 2017 that he had prepared to “say goodbye” to his loved ones before he underwent five hours of surgery to remove cancer from one of his lungs. He shared that he was cancer-free in 2018.

Opening up about it in new documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me, Wood said he was diagnosed with the illness after smoking “25 to 30 a day at least for 50-odd years.”


“I got away with having it cut out of one lung, the cancer,” he revealed in a preview for his first feature-length documentary.

“Luckily it had just stayed there,” he continued. “They said, ‘We got rid of that and while we there we got rid of the emphysema on the top lobe of your lung.’ “I went, ‘Oh great’, and they went, ‘Your lungs now are like you’d never smoked’ and I went, ‘How is that for a get out of jail free card?’”

“Somebody up there likes me, somebody down here likes me too,” Wood added.

Watch a preview of the documentary below:

Sharing news of the documentary on Twitter, Wood wrote: UK friends! My first feature length documentary, Somebody Up There Likes Me, by Mike Figgis is hitting your TV screens on Saturday 6th June at 9pm on Sky Arts.”


Earlier this month, The Rolling Stones announced the launch of ‘Extra Licks’, a six-part weekly series of special online featurettes featuring concert films from across their career.

It’s the first time any of the footage has been made available digitally, and includes footage from performances on the 1994 Voodoo Lounge Tour and the 2016 Latin America Ole! Tour.