They knew it would be a special one, but when Rhod Gilbert returned to the stage at Swansea Arena earlier this week, the response from the crowd was enormous.

“We were so thrilled to see him back doing what he does so brilliantly,” Swansea Arena commented following Friday’s night’s performance.

“We knew it would be a special one, but there’s nothing quite like witnessing a homegrown Welsh legend take to the stage in front of a sold out crowd.

“Diolch, Rhod!”

Last July Rhod Gilbert made the stark announcement that he had stage four cancer and was undergoing treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre for which he has been a committed fund-raising patron for many years.

The diagnosis came after he discovered a lump on his neck, ironically whilst he was carrying out one of his fund-raising treks through Cuba.

"I’d had a sore throat, I couldn't speak, I couldn't breathe and I had to postpone and cancel tour shows,” he said.

“I was also getting terrible spasms in my face and a lot of tightness in my muscles.

"It turned out after a biopsy of the lump in my neck that I had something called head and neck cancer. Cancer of the head sounded pretty serious.

"So before I knew it, I was having surgery. I was in daily sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy."

The journey over these past ten months has been tough for Rhod, both physically and emotionally but he has described his treatment as ‘faultless’.

Slowly but surely he has been able to return to his former self as his facial hair grew back, his voice returned to normal and he began regaining weight.

There was a slight setback in December when he was forced to postpone a string of live shows after being told he needed additional surgery as a result of gallstones and recurring gallbladder infections.

“They kicked like a donkey,” he is reported as saying.

But this week the iconic Welsh comedian returned to the stage with all the dynamism, power and humour that has earned Rhod Gilbert his standing in the upper ranks of British comedy.

He has also recently released details of his new tv series ‘Rhod Gilbert’s Growing Pains’ which is being filmed for Comedy Central.

“I was so pleased to be back in the studio recording band new episodes,” he said.

“And I’ve got loads more guests all joining me to trawl through their adolescent indiscretions and compete for the title of ‘Most Embarrassing Teenager”

Rhod has five more live dates throughout the summer but each have been sold out.

His final date will be in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on October 1. The tickets are yet to go on sale.