In Brief

Noel Edmonds suggests man's cancer is due to 'negative attitude'

Advertising watchdog 'urgently looking into' a complaint made about the Deal or No Deal host

Noel Edmonds has come under fire after suggesting a man on Twitter had cancer because of his "negative attitude".

The Deal or No Deal presenter initially took to the social media site in order to praise a device he claimed "slows ageing, reduces pain, lifts depression" and even "tackles cancer".

His tweets caught the attention of a man calling himself Vaun Earl Norman, who says he has kidney cancer, lymph node metastases and psoriatic arthritis.

"This sort of quackery should be illegal if it isn't already," he said.

He added that Edmonds should "stick to what he's good at... presenting quiz shows and beard trimming, rather than curing cancer".

Norman said he was considering making a formal complaint and even contacting the police.

In response, Edmonds said it was "scientific fact" that "negative energy" caused cancer. "Is it possible your ill health is caused by your negative attitude? #explore" he wrote.

The Advertising Standards Authority says it is aware of concerns about Edmonds's claims and was "urgently looking into" a formal complaint.

Several tweets argued his posts could violate the 1939 Cancer Act, which prohibits the advertising of any cure for the disease – proven or not – unless it is an exceptional circumstance.

A quick browse at the presenter's Twitter history shows he has made no secret of his admiration of the EMPpad, a device that emits electromagnetic pulses aimed at stimulating "cellular resonance" in the body.

Its manufacturer later released a statement saying it does not pay Edmonds and that the opinions he expressed are his alone and "do not reflect in any way the opinions of us at EMPpad".

It added: "Although research using very low frequency and intensity PEMF [pulsed electromagnetic fields] to help address cancer has produced some promising early results, it is currently in the very early stages and EMPpad does not make the claim that PEMF therapy can prevent cancer."

A spokeswoman for the ASA told the Daily Telegraph that if there had been no payment or agreement with the company "the authority may not be able to take action".

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