Celebrity Women 'Line-up' for Race for Life

Cancer Research UK

London commuters did a double take this morning as an unlikely cast of famous women recreated one of the most iconic movie posters of all time, in a live billboard ad to launch Cancer Research UK's Race for Life 2009 series.

The women - including actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham and larger-than-life comedienne Amy Lamé - recreated the infamous police line-up image from 'The Usual Suspects' poster to kick off the 'If I can do it¦' campaign, which highlights that every woman is invited to take part in the Race for Life series, whatever their age, shape, size and fitness level.

Entitled 'The Unusual Suspects', the unlikely group of famous faces was completed by Casualty actress and breast cancer patient Rebekah Gibbs, Ruth Lorenzo from X Factor, actress Laila Morse, and 'Green Goddess' and breast and skin cancer survivor Diana Moran. Together with a group of women from around the UK, the 'If I Can Do It¦' ambassadors appeared in the live billboard advert, positioned in London's Paternoster Square, in a bid to underline that the 5k event is achievable for all women, especially as participants can either walk, jog or run the distance.

All the women who took part in the live ad have their own connection to cancer, with the group including survivors of the disease and those with close relatives who have been affected by cancer.

Now in its 16th series, Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event. Women are invited to walk, jog or run 5k at over 230 Race for Life events taking place across the UK this summer. The charity is hoping that 680,000 women will come together and help raise over £60 million to fund the charity’s life saving work into all forms of cancer. Cancer Research UK’s work has saved millions of lives in the UK and across the world.

As part of the 'If I can do it¦' campaign, the charity has also set up a website where participants can learn more about the ambassadors and get hints and tips to prepare a Race for Life, which includes advice from Diana Moran and a regular training blog from Amy Lamé. The 'If I can do it¦' site can be found at www.raceforlife.org/ifICanDoit.html.

Amy Lamé said: "It was great fun being part of the live advert with all the other women, and we want to show people that 5k is a perfectly achievable distance for every woman. Cancer Research UK's Race for Life 2009 is for every woman, because it's not about how fit or young you are, it's about taking part and raising money to beat cancer. Sadly many of my family members, including my mother, sister, aunts and grandmother have all been touched by cancer and I can’t wait to participate this year and I say to every woman out there - if I can do it, so can you!"

Janine Edgar, 'If I Can Do It¦' ambassador, aged 29 added: "I wanted to become an 'If I Can Do It¦' ambassador because I battled bladder cancer whilst pregnant with my first child, Jonty in 2006. Amazingly, I managed to walk a Race for Life whilst undergoing my chemotherapy treatment in 2007 and also took part when I was pregnant with my second child, Eloise in 2008. The great thing is that 5k is an achievable distance for all - you really don't have to run it. I have been one of my local event's highest fundraisers and each year I take part I try to raise as much money as possible. I would really encourage other women to take part this year - I’m living proof that anyone can do it!"

Each Race for Life event covers a distance of 5k and Cancer Research UK is encouraging women of all ages and levels of fitness to participate. To sign up for a Race for Life event and for more information on the 'If I can do it¦' campaign, click here.

Ends

For more press information or images please contact the PR team on 020 7061 8315

Notes to Editor

Unusual suspects celebrities and ‘If I Can Do It¦’ ambassadors:

  • Lynda Bellingham, actress, aged 60
  • Rebekah Gibbs, actress, aged 35
  • Amy Lamé, comedienne, aged 38
  • Ruth Lorenzo, singer, aged 25
  • Laila Morse, actress, aged 63
  • Diana Moran, keep fit TV presenter, aged 69

Unusual suspects real-life women and 'If I Can Do It¦' ambassadors:

  • Jacki Allman, breast cancer survivor and daughter Karen is breast and leukaemia survivor, aged 63, Northumberland
  • Irene Milburn, double breast cancer survivor, aged 67, Leeds
  • Janine Edgar, bladder cancer survivor, aged 29, Suffolk
  • Jean Mudie, breast cancer survivor, aged 60, The Wirral
  • Mavis Ingram, colon cancer survivor, aged 67, Cardiff
  • Katie Gallienne, currently 8 months pregnant, lost her daughter Olivia, aged 2 and a half to leukaemia, aged 32, Hampshire
  • Jessica Miller, bone cancer survivor, aged 13, Hampshire
  • Jacqueline Thomas, breast cancer survivor, aged 52, Surrey
  • Margaret Cameron, breast cancer survivor, age 71, Glasgow

About Cancer Research UK

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients.
  • Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
  • Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.
  • For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit our homepage.