TV presenter Nicki Chapman has revealed she had major surgery to remove a brain tumour just over ten days ago.

The 52-year-old is now recovering from a four-and-a-half hour operation, in which she had a tumour the size of a golf ball removed from her brain.

Despite undergoing such a serious operation, Nikki told Mail Online that she is "flabbergasted at how well I feel and how quickly I’ve recovered. I feel fantastic."

The recovery has been so quick for the former Pop Idol judge that she "not even taking pain-killers," and walks for more than a mile every day.

Nikki also paid tribute to the staff at Charing Cross Hospital, saying the NHS care "has been first class," and that they have helped her to 'find her inner strength'.

Nikki is taking some time off and her surgeon has recommended she "shouldn’t go back to work for six weeks."

This means Nikki won't be fronting the BBC's coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time since 2006.

This has been a decision that has left Nikki feeling tearful as she admitted: "I’m devastated. I watched the preview and it made me cry… but I have to follow my doctor’s advice. You don’t get a second chance to recover."

Looking back at the moment when she received the diagnosis, Nikki said: "It was the worst news I’ve ever had in my life."

Nikki had gone to her GP after suffering memory lapses, speech problems and impaired vision, leading to her being rushed to A&E as it was thought she was having a stroke.

After having blood tests, the neurosurgeon told Nikki that her problem was 'serious' and told her that it wasn't a stroke but a brain tumour.

Nikki stayed positive, although she admitted that the news left her "petrified" about what the future holds.

The good news is that Nikki is expected to make a full recovery.

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