Gwyneth Paltrow helps launch Stand Up To Cancer

Cancer Research UK

Stars from television, music and film will come together this autumn for “Stand Up To Cancer” - a unique new fundraising campaign on Channel 4.

Joining forces with Cancer Research UK, the campaign will build on air over a week of programming, delivering the best of Channel 4’s science and entertainment programming. It will climax on Friday 19th October in a fundraising extravaganza hosted by Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Dr Christian.

Today in London, Gwyneth Paltrow, Co-Executive Producer of SU2C USA, joined Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt; Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Harpal Kumar; and all round fabulous press conference chair Alan Carr, to launch Stand Up To Cancer UK.

Alan Carr revealed: “Pretty much everyone will be affected by this disease in their lifetime, and that’s the very simple reason why I’m honoured to be involved with this campaign. Like so many people, I’ve seen exactly how destructive the big C is. I’ve lost two people already this year to cancer, and friend of mine who has been diagnosed with throat cancer is having her voice box removed next week, and won’t speak again. So we need to raise a lot of money.”

Gwyneth Paltrow said: “I would like to tell you about nine women from the entertainment industry in the United States who, four years ago, decided to do something about the unbearable reality that cancer claims the lives of eight million men, women and children worldwide every year. In the US, 1600 people-a-day are lost to cancer. I lost my father in 2002, and I’m also aware of the impact this disease has on families. But whether we lose a loved one in the US or the UK, we all lose until we do something to change it.”

“Well, these nine women, whose lives had been profoundly affected by cancer, did something. They mobilised the entertainment community, and created Stand Up to Cancer – a program of Hollywood's leading charity, the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Stand Up to Cancer is a grassroots movement to raise funds for cancer research, to get new treatments to patients more quickly. It requires scientists to work together, to compete against cancer, instead of each other. “

“Well, it worked. Four years later, $260 million has been pledged. 350 scientists have been funded across more than 80 institutions, with dozens of clinical trials underway. And patients are benefiting. Scientists are working together, accelerating the process to save more lives. And on October 19th, the fight against cancer comes to Channel 4. With their extraordinary commitment to the one-in-three people in the UK who will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, we are thrilled to join forces with Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, and to bring you Stand Up to Cancer UK.”
 
“We have the power to make cancer powerless – perhaps even end it. But it takes more research, and that requires funding. Cancer has taken some of the best among us, and it is time for us all to stand up and fight back. I’m so proud to be standing up to cancer for my dad. Please tune in and donate on October 19th. Stand for the people you love in your life.  Stand for these amazing advances in science and medicine.  Stand Up to Cancer.”

Jay Hunt said: “Why Stand Up to Cancer, and why Channel 4? Well, Channel 4 prides itself on daring to do things that nobody else would want to do or could do. In the last few weeks we’ve managed to change attitudes in this nation to disability with our coverage of the Paralympics, and now we’re up for the ultimate challenge – and to be honest, it doesn’t get much bigger than trying to play a part in curing cancer.”

“[This will be] a charity appeal unlike anything you’ve seen before: a uniquely Channel 4 hybrid of comedy, of entertainment, and science, which is designed to grab hold of an audience and not let it go.”

“Now we are so determined to do something really special on October 19th, we have taken a rather terrifying decision, and one that my scheduling team may not forgive me for. We’re going to stay on air for as long as the donations keep pouring in. Now that might mean that we’re still sitting there as the sun comes up in the morning, but it’ll take whatever it takes, and I think the cause is so important we wanted to make that sort of commitment.”

Dr Harpal Kumar said: “It’s not just technology or knowledge that we need. It’s funding. And every pound we raise is a step closer to our goal of beating this disease. Through Stand Up to Cancer, we hope to raise millions of pounds for our lifesaving work, and thanks to some very important people in this room with us here today, we’re not doing it alone.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Stand Up to Cancer has become a reality in the UK, and Channel 4 is the perfect partner for a campaign that promises to challenge, inspire, and push the boundaries in how we fight this devastating disease.”

“The UK leads the world in clinical trials, with one-in-five patients with cancer going on to a clinical study. But we need to do more. Many more patients would like the option of going on clinical trials.. So all the funds raised through Stand Up to Cancer will go towards research specifically designed to have an impact within just a few years, by working to turn breakthroughs in the lab to breakthroughs in our hospitals.”

Throughout the week and night, there will be a plenty of other surprises and a huge range of opportunities for audiences to get involved and donate to the cause, to show their support and raise millions for the fight against cancer. For inspiration viewers can log on to www.standuptocancer.org.uk/getinvolved

In the run up to the 19 October, Cancer Research UK will be urging the public to get involved by donating money, fundraising, showing support through social networks or snapping up some Stand Up To Cancer merchandise.  

ENDS

For up to date information please go to www.standuptocancer.org.uk or www.channel4.com/su2c

SU2C Social media:
#standuptocancer
Twitter handle: @Standup2C
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/standuptocancerUK
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/standuptocancerUK

For media enquiries, please contact:
For Channel4 related enquires please contact: Nikki Neate on 020 7306 5377 or nneate@channel4.co.uk

For Cancer Research UK please contact: Laura Peters on 020 3469 8367 or Laura.Peters@cancer.org.uk

Notes to Editor

Please use the following credit when using any material relating to Stand Up To Cancer: (Programme & details) is part of ‘Stand Up To Cancer’, a joint national fundraising event from Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK culminating in a live evening extravaganza on 19th October. Follow @Standup2C, Standuptocancer.org.uk or channel4.co.uk/SU2C for further information.

SU2C USA
Since Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) began in the USA in 2008 with a telecast across ABC, CBS and NBC, it has harnessed the support of the entertainment industry to raise more than $260 million for cancer research focused on bringing more effective and less toxic treatments to patients quickly.  SU2C is an Entertainment Industry Foundation initiative.

Funds raised through the Stand Up To Cancer campaign will go specifically towards the UK’s leading clinical research, ensuring that new treatments get to patients faster. UK-based researchers at hospitals, universities, charities and research institutes across the UK will be able to apply for grants from the Stand Up To Cancer fund through an open call for proposals. Reflecting the collaboration with the USA, 20 per cent of funds raised will support UK–US collaborative research to develop state-of-the-art new treatments to benefit patients here in the UK.

Programme information
Stand Up To Cancer Live 19th October
Bringing together a unique mix of entertainment, science and fundraising, a super-sized group of celebrities will come together over the week to show their support for SU2C UK, including: The Simpsons, Tom Daley, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Jonnie Peacock, Emeli Sande, Jenson Button, JLS, Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall, Anna Friel, The Cast of 8 out of 10 Cats, The Cast of The Big Bang Theory, The English National Ballet, Martin Freeman, Miranda Hart, Simon Bird, and David Hasslehoff.

Alan Carr will front a super-sized chat show with the best green room ever, packed with A-list stars both from the UK and the US. Building on the success of Carr’s recent “Spectacular”, audiences will also be treated to special sketches, VTs and high octane star-studded stunts.

Davina will host a high stakes version of Million Pound Drop, aiming to raise big money for Stand Up To Cancer – building on the show’s successful history of charity editions, which recently saw the recent Celebrity Games specials raise a spectacular £700,000 for 14 different Paralympic and disability charities.

And throughout the night, our doctor in residence Dr Christian Jessen will be on hand to explain some of the science behind the incredible new cancer trials we hope to fund, and to introduce stories of those who have been affected by cancer and whose lives depend on new breakthroughs in cancer research.

Whizz Kid Entertainment will produce the main hub for Channel 4. A large range of other companies are also involved in producing content on the night and during the week, and details will be released shortly.

Tesco is proud to be the lead broadcast sponsor across Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer programme schedule.

Stand Up To Cancer Shorts
Channel 4 has commissioned Maverick Television to make a series of five personal and moving short films to run during the week commencing Monday 15th October.   

The films will feature five very different cancer stories, self-narrated by those affected and cutting to the heart of the impact cancer has on them.  From parents grieving for their 10 year old daughter, recently taken by a brain tumour, to a family currently battling with the bombshell of their 14 year olds diagnosis, to a young woman faced with a shocking dilemma – should she be tested for the gene that’s killing her mother?   

Emotive and powerful, the films will be instrumental in raising awareness and re-enforcing the fact cancer is universal and indiscriminate; it can and does strike anyone, regardless of age, sex, race, status, wealth or a person’s state of health. Its impact is as varied, both physically and emotionally, on not just the patient but those closest to them.  

Each short film will transmit daily before featuring across the during the live fundraiser “Stand Up To Cancer” on Friday October the 19th.

Tesco is proud sponsor of the Stand Up To Cancer Shorts

Sing For Your Life
The Big C Choir is quite simply, unique.   It isn’t that they’ve been together barely three months or that, prior to joining, many of them had never sung before in public.  What makes this choir so extraordinary is that all thirty five members have been on the same incredible, sometimes terrifying, journey - each and every one them is, or has been, in treatment for cancer.  

The choir has been created for this programme, and is run and supported by Tenovus, Wales' leading cancer charity. The charity carried out pioneering research about the positive effects of singing in a group - and now runs choirs across Wales for people touched by cancer in some way.

The Big C Choir is different. Its singers are all ages, ranging from 10 to 80 years old and they come from all walks of life -from pensioners to professional footballers. They've been recruited from Wales and beyond and every member - some terminal, some just diagnosed, some in remission - have all had, or have, cancer.

From the very first week, The Big C Choir's shared experience of this devastating disease has bound them together. Rehearsals have become joyous occasions - part choir, part support group, part exclusive club. Despite the illness or the debilitating effects of chemotherapy, The Big C Choir singers have been reluctant to miss out on their weekly fix of choir practice.  And while their health has fluctuated, what has never wavered is their newfound love of singing.

Led by choir mistress Cat Southall, every member has been on an incredible journey in and out of the rehearsal room.

They've been taught by opera star and brain cancer survivor Russell Watson, met singers as diverse as Emeli Sande and Shaun Ryder and performed at life-affirming moments like a surprise wedding proposal.

Along the way, they also had a big surprise sprung on them - the climax of their story is a performance at a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall... if they're ready, willing and able to sing.

Plus watch out for the performance on the live show on October 19th….

Sing for Your Life is produced by Exclusive TV for Channel 4

ScottishPower are proud sponsors of Sing For Your Life.

Embarrassing Bodies Special
The Embarrassing Bodies doctors are Standing up to Cancer and taking the emotional medical journey with patients fighting the big C. Dr Dawn meets 49 year old Julie who overcame breast cancer eight years ago. After a double mastectomy Dr Dawn is helping her to get back her breasts and be the woman she once was using radical surgery with a pioneering technique.

Dr Christian meets designer Josh, who tragically lost half his face following the diagnosis of a rare cancer, orbital melanoma. We join Josh on his amazing surgery to rebuild his face with the UK’s leading team of facial and dental surgeons. Natalie was diagnosed with cervical cancer at just 22 making her one of the UK’s youngest cases. Having undergone a radical hysterectomy we see her journey unfold as she attempts an egg retrieval procedure to provide her with the only chance to become a mum one day.  Dr Dawn visits her in hospital during her radio therapy treatment and talks about dealing with the disease so young.

Dad of two young boys, Danny, was diagnosed with bladder cancer at just 39. Having met Dr Christian in the clinic we follow his course of treatment using the tuberculosis virus to fight the cancer and we discover if his bladder can be saved.

John went to his GP for a check-up after his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer only to discover he also had prostate cancer too. Following a trip to the clinic to see Dr Christian we follow John’s brave decision to have his prostate removed using a state for the art robotic technique, the di vinic robot, a machine so advanced, the surgeon’s hands control a computer consol rather than the knife.

We follow the NHS Breast Screening Cancer Bus in Coventry inviting women over 50 for their routine mammograms and Dr Christian is out and about wearing prosthetic breasts encouraging the ladies to have a feel of his lumps and bumps to get to know what’s normal for them. Pixie whips up a crowd as she inflates her large bowel and guides the public through the pitfalls of bowel cancer and what symptoms to watch out for. She also tests out the very latest scanning techniques to spot the signs early.

And along the way celebrities share their personal story of how cancer has affected them.

Embarrassing Bodies is made by Maverick TV for Channel 4.

Both More4 and E4 are joining the week with themed nights and special guests asking viewers to dig deep and give to fight cancer.