LONDON (AP) _ ``Inspector Morse'' star John Thaw is responding well to treatment for cancer and wants to return to work, his wife said.

The popular and respected British actor, best known to international TV audiences as gruff police detective Morse, announced in mid-June that he was undergoing treatment for cancer of the esophagus.

``John is doing well; he has responded well to treatment and wants to get back to work as soon as he is well enough,'' said Thaw's wife, actress Sheila Hancock, who recovered from breast cancer more than a decade ago.

Her 59-year-old husband was feeling fine, she said Tuesday.

Hancock spoke at a news conference unveiling the British Broadcasting Corp.'s fall television season, in which she will appear in a new soap opera, a black comedy titled ``Bedtime.''