Stars come out for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Stars from the world of TV and politics have come together to show their support of this year's Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Amongst the celebrities is Ricky Gervais, who, after teasing his co-worker Karl Pilkington to have a direct rectal examination he did.

Ricky said: "I'd been teasing Karl for years about getting tested for prostate cancer. He was very uncomfortable with the whole idea of "the finger". I finally persuaded him to have it done as part of An Idiot Abroad 2.

"It was good for a laugh but I would rather surprise him with the test now than for prostate cancer to catch him unaware, as it does so many thousands of men every year. Most blokes are just like Karl who do not want to go through this procedure, and would rather bury their heads in the sand than go for a simple test. This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month I hope more men will be inspired by Karl to take the plunge. If Karl can do it, anyone can."

Throughout March, the Charity is calling on people to take on a 10,000 Challenge, to help raise awareness of the 10,000 men who die from the disease every year. In response, celebrities including Julia Bradbury, Lord Jeffrey Archer, Ellen Thomas, Richard Farleigh and Diane Louise Jordan are also taking on their own 10,000 challenge during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Taking on her own 10,000 challenge in support of her father who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and successfully treated, is BBC Countryfile presenter, Julia Bradbury, who is walking 10,000 steps for The Prostate Cancer Charity throughout March while filming a new BBC series in America:

 "I am thankful every day that when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer it was caught early enough to be successfully treated. But not everyone is that lucky - 10,000 men just like my father die from prostate cancer every year. That's why I'm walking 10,000 steps this Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, to help raise awareness of this, the most common cancer in men, so that more fathers, brothers and lovers know about prostate cancer before it's too late. What will you do?"

Lord Jeffrey Archer will be putting pen to paper for his 10,000 challenge and completing the first 10,000 words of his novel.

 "I was shocked when I heard that 10,000 men die from prostate cancer every year. That's why this March I've taken on the 'novel' challenge to write the first 10,000 words of my next book, in honour of those fathers, brothers and sons who lose their life to the disease. I call on you to take on your own 10,000 challenge during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so that fewer men are hit out of the blue by this disease in the future."

BBC Eastenders and Rev actress Ellen Thomas is pledging to learn 10,000 words of her next role during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ellen said: "I am thrilled to be taking part in the 10,000 challenge to raise awareness of prostate cancer, which kills that many men in UK every year. It is so important to raise awareness of this disease, which hits many men out of the blue, and I hope people across the country will join with me in taking on their own challenge."

Entrepreneur and former TV Dragon Richard Farleigh is also taking up the challenge:

Richard said: "I'm taking on the challenge of 10,000 chess moves this prostate cancer awareness month in memory of the 10,000 men who sadly lose their lives to the disease every year. Make the right move and join me in taking on a 10,000 challenge this March. Together we can help stop this, the most common cancer in men, taking so many loved ones' lives in the future."

BBC One's Songs of Praise presenter, Diane Louise Jordan will be hitting all the right notes throughout March as she takes on a hymn singing challenge.

Diane-Louise said: "I was shocked when I heard how much more at risk African Caribbean men are from developing prostate cancer, which is why they must go and see their doctor if they are worried or notice any changes. Although men might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, going to see your doctor as soon as possible is an important step in getting prostate cancer diagnosed as quickly as possible."

The Prostate Cancer Charity's Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop, said: "It is fantastic to see so many celebrities showing their support and joining the army of people taking on a 10,000 Challenge this Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Through their support we hope to raise further awareness and reach out to more men before it is too late."

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month aims to bring this disease - which kills one man every hour in the UK - further out into the open. Under the banner of 'out of the blue' the Charity is encouraging people to be aware of the disease, which when diagnosed can hit men like a bolt from the blue.

ENDS