Celebrities strip to raise awareness of cancer in intimate places

Rugby players, actresses and Love Island stars feature in the celebrity line up that is The Real Full Monty, which airs tomorrow and Tuesday, December 14 and 15 on ITV
Celebrities strip to raise awareness of cancer in intimate places

DARE TO BARE: Coleen Nolan who takes part in The Real Full Monty On Ice, to raise awareness of cancer issues

COLEEN Nolan laughed out loud when co-presenter Ashley Banjo told her his idea for their new series of The Real Full Monty.

The pioneering TV show will see a group of brave celebrities, including Nolan and Banjo, yet again bare all in a daring dance routine — but this year, it will all take place on ice.

Ashley Banjo. 
Ashley Banjo. 

The line-up for the show — the aim of which is to raise awareness of cancers in intimate areas of the body — includes Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas, actress Linda Lusardi, Love Island star Chris Hughes and journalist Dame Jenni Murray.

Half the celebrities had never skated before rehearsals started in September. The Real Full Monty on Ice airs on ITV on Monday and Tuesday at 9pm

Nolan, 55, who starred in ITV reality show Dancing On Ice in 2009, quips it’s “traumatic” having to don skates again.

“I think, if we pull it off, it will be spectacular,” adds the star, who found fame with her siblings as the hugely successful Irish girl group, The Nolans (first formed as The Nolan Sisters in 1974).

“My initial worry was, ‘It is going to lose the emotion it has every year’, but as long as we still make sure we get the message across and that it still brings out the emotions that we want people to feel, then I’ll give it a go.”

Linda Lusardi. Picture: ©ITV/Spungold Productions
Linda Lusardi. Picture: ©ITV/Spungold Productions

The Covid-19 pandemic has made rehearsals, and filming the show, tougher too; there’s only one ice rink that’s open, notes Nolan, and it’s five hours from her house. Then there’s all the testing before the celebs meet up.

“The easiest thing would have been to go, ‘Do you know, we will postpone it until next year’, but we all feel that this year, it’s more important than ever to get our message across because I think people have forgotten.

“Everyone’s so focused on Covid — we all are — that we all forget about all the other things, and to check ourselves.”

Nolan hopes The Real Full Monty on Ice reminds people how key early detection of cancer is in saving lives. After the previous series (it first aired in 2017), she has had “messages from people going, ‘I checked myself while I was watching the show and found a lump’.”

“Luckily, the people who got in touch with me, one lady, it was nothing, a cyst. And another lady it was cancer, but because she caught it early, she was absolutely fine.”

The bubbly, outgoing Loose Women host has a very personal reason to be raising awareness about this topic; her sister Bernie died from breast cancer in 2013, and two of her sisters are currently battling the disease.

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