Star impersonates famous faces of sport to raise awareness of
the alarming odds of getting prostate cancer
Impersonator Jon Culshaw has added some famous faces from the
world of sport to his repertoire for the first time for a series of
ads aimed at raising awareness of prostate cancer.
In three humorous ads - with a serious message - Culshaw appears
by turns as football manager Harry Redknapp, racing pundit John
McCririck and Italian sports journalist Tiziano Crudeli , in
a bid to get men talking about the disease, which is the most
common cancer in men in the UK.
The trio of innovative adverts, created by Prostate Cancer UK,
use various betting scenarios including two spoofs of well-known
Ladbrokes and Bet 365 ads to warn men, using their language, that
the likelihood of getting the disease is 8:1.
These ads also feature footballing pundit Mark Bright and TV
personality Tommy Walsh - committed supporters of Prostate Cancer
UK - starring as themselves. The series, which has been developed
to make men think about their health, are premiering today, and can
be viewed during the Chelsea v Arsenal and Spurs v 'Man U' games
and throughout the sports season on Sky Sports and ESPN.
Jon Culshaw said: "When I heard that the odds of getting
prostate cancer were 8:1 I was shocked. I had very limited
knowledge about the disease before I made these ads and I know
there must be many people out there who are the same. If this
publicity drive can shift prostate cancer up the agenda and
encourage people to support Prostate Cancer UK I will be
"This type of advert is a first for me and a great
idea. I've never done impressions of Harry Redknapp, John
McCririck and Tiziano before, so I hope they like it - and Mark
Bright and Tommy Walsh were brilliant and very funny starring as
themselves. I hope that using comedy in this way will prompt men to
think twice and put a knowledge of prostate cancer in their minds
for as and when they need it. I hope it will make men stop and
think and realise that one day it could affect them, to maximise
the chance of detecting it early."
Prostate cancer kills one man every hour and the number of men
with the disease is rising at an alarming rate. While it is already
the most common cancer in men, it is predicted to become the most
common cancer of all in the UK by 2030. Not only that, but due to a
prolonged period of neglect and underinvestment, diagnosis and
treatment is still decades behind where they need to be. As
Culshaw's Redknapp warns in the ads "I can do you prostate cancer
at eight to one - that's your chances of getting it. With short
odds on incontinence, impotence and full infertility."
Through this innovative advertising campaign Prostate Cancer
UK plans to reach more than a third of all men over 45 through the
familiar mediums of sport and comedy and start the conversations
about their health that need to happen.
Former Premier League footballer and pundit Mark Bright says of
his involvement in the adverts: "This is my first TV advert and it
was great fun making it. Part of me wanted to laugh out loud when I
saw it for the first time because it is funny, but prostate cancer
is no laughing matter. Every man in the UK needs to know that
prostate cancer is a risk as we get older - especially African
Caribbean men like me. So let's get behind Prostate Cancer UK and
kick this disease off the park once and for all."
The adverts - which also call for donations to the charity -
coincide with Prostate Cancer UK's new campaign the Sledgehammer
Fund fronted by comedian Bill Bailey which will run between January
and the end of March. The aim of the Fund is to generate cash to
support Prostate Cancer UK's ambitious work to increase research
spend into the disease, as well as improve the support men receive
through the delivery of world class services.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Men are
often all too knowledgeable about their football stats and know who
they'd put their money on each week, but the short odds on prostate
cancer just aren't on their radar and this is what must change. Men
simply cannot continue taking a gamble on their health.
"We hope this set of ads can raise awareness of prostate cancer
and get men talking by hitting them with something familiar -
sport, comedy and betting. Thanks to Culshaw, Bright, Tommy Walsh
and everyone else involved, we hope we can reach the men on the
terraces, at the races and those having their weekly flutter,
because we can't take our chances when it comes to this
DONATE £5 TO THE SLEDGEHAMMER FUND. TEXT ODDS TO 70004
OR CALL 0800 082 1199.
Text costs £5 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives
100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer's permission.
You can view the adverts on the Sledgehammer campaign page.
Images of the adverts and Jon Culshaw, are available on request.
Mark Bright and Tommy Walsh are also available for interview.
Please contact the Prostate Cancer UK press office on 020 8222 7670
for further information.
The charity would like to thank Ladbrokes and Bet365 for giving
permission for these adverts to be produced, and McCririck,
Redknapp and Crudeli for giving permission for themselves to be
The Sledgehammer Fund expects to reach up
to 96 per cent of men and women aged over 45 across the UK. Men
over this age are at an increased risk of the disease. The campaign
will be alerting them to the fact that prostate cancer is an issue
and informing them that Prostate Cancer UK is here for
The campaign has been launched hot on the heels of Prostate Cancer
which set out three clear aims, to invest £25 million in research
over the next three years, and almost the same again in
ground-breaking services, as well as pulling people together in a
movement for change.
Prostate Cancer UK merged with Prostate Action in 2012, creating a
single powerful voice for men with prostate cancer and benign