Sunday 21 October 2018

Victoria Derbyshire’s fears about stripping on TV for breast cancer awareness

The BBC broadcaster said the Full Monty-style show is ‘nudity for a purpose’.

Victoria Derbyshire is stripping off on TV for breast cancer awareness (Ian West/PA)
Victoria Derbyshire is stripping off on TV for breast cancer awareness (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Victoria Derbyshire has said that her stripping off on TV to raise awareness of breast cancer is not “nudity for the sake of it” and cannot be compared to a revealing picture by Kim Kardashian.

The broadcaster is one of a group of eight female stars taking part in ITV’s The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night, following the success of an all-male version last year for prostate cancer, and she said she is “completely apprehensive” about it.

The show will see Derbyshire and her co-stars – including Loose Women host Coleen Nolan and former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton – create a show-stopping performance while battling their nerves and learning to love their bodies for the charitable cause.

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The Real Full Monty: Ladies' Night

Derbyshire, who went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, said that, while she had fears about taking part in the programme, she is comfortable with her body.

She told the Radio Times: “I’m not ashamed of how I look, but I do look different to other women, and the idea of revealing that is absolutely nerve-racking.”

Derbyshire, 49, said she does not have “body issues” in her house, and that she walks around naked in front of her partner Mark Sandell and their two sons Oliver and Joe, because it is “no big deal”.

“I am happy for them to see what a mum of two who’s had breast cancer looks like,” she said.

“They don’t bat an eyelid. Of course they don’t. I’m their mum. But what we are planning to do (on television) is on a different scale altogether.”

Derbyshire said that their challenge “couldn’t be further away from an Instagram post by Kim Kardashian”.

She added: “It’s not just nudity for the sake of it, or for looking glamorous. It’s nudity for a purpose – to say this is what can happen when you get a diagnosis of breast cancer.

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Victoria Derbyshire

“And this is why it can be OK. And this is what we can do to talk to you about trying to make sure you don’t get breast cancer.

“And if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, depending on the diagnosis, you might be able to get through it, like me.

Derbyshire, Nolan and Heaton will be joined by Hi-de-Hi star Ruth Madoc, reality TV star Megan McKenna, Emmerdale actress Sally Dexter, actress Helen Lederer and presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford for The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night.

Derbyshire said that the eight of them have bonded because “all of our lives have been touched by cancer”.

The Real Full Monty aired last year and saw the likes of Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong and dancer Wayne Sleep strip off to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night airs at 9pm on ITV on Thursday March 29.

Radio Times is on sale now.

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