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The Real Full Monty, ITV’s award-winning series which promotes cancer awareness through celebrities getting their kit off, is back with its second and final episode tonight (Tuesday, December 15).
But this year's series has a new twist for Christmas.
This time, the 11 bold and brave celebs will be strutting their stuff and getting naked… on ice. Ouch!
Preparing to get very chilly in a winter wonderland spectacular are show regulars Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan, who have enlisted the help of Dancing on Ice’s professional skaters to get this year’s celebs in shape for their ‘Full Monty’ finale.
But who will be stepping up to reveal all on the ice? We hear from the celebs talk part about their own experiences with cancer and their personal reasons for going the Full Monty...
The Real Full Monty On Ice contestants
Dame Jenni Murray
I was absolutely flabbergasted when my agent asked me about it. I said, ‘Absolutely not. Good lord, what on earth would make you think I would do something like that? I’m not baring my breasts in public!’ But then I have to say, I thought really seriously about it after that conversation. Because I’ve always said - we need to keep women informed about this. It was a really important part of Woman’s Hour, we talked about breast cancer a lot. And I’m old enough to remember when women didn’t talk about breast cancer, because they were so afraid of it.
It was my generation that really started to open up about it and say - it’s important we understand it and we know what to look for when people say, ‘Check your breasts, check your armpits and if there’s anything that worries you go and sort it out’. And so I thought, ‘Go on Murray, put your money where your mouth is, you can’t have gone on like this for years and years and then say no’. So I agreed to do it. Because it’s a really, really important message that we continue to get out. To every age group.
I’ve watched the programme in the past and I have always been very moved by it and it has made me want to check myself for lumps and bumps. I just think it’s so important and having lost my best friend, Angie, to breast cancer, it was a no-brainer. Obviously it was a concern having to expose myself, but, I put that aside and said yes.
Then I found out it was on ice, so that was a bit of a shock, as I’ve always feared getting back on the ice. I broke a bone in my foot during training for Dancing on Ice, before I even got to the live shows. So I do have a fear of hurting myself on the ice. I’m a lot older now and will take longer for me to mend, but the cause is far greater than my concerns and there was no way I was going to say no.
Dr Zoe Williams
Well, as a doctor, a big part of our jobs is around health promotion and health education. I talk to patients all the time about checking themselves and about being able to detect signs of cancer at an early stage and why that’s so important. Not only because it saves lives but also it means the earlier the cancer can be detected, the easier it is to treat. And therefore the less invasive procedures a patient will need. So detecting cancers like breast cancer early, is everything. So when I was asked to do the show and having been aware of it from previous years and how big it is and how it gets people talking – what better way is there for me to do my job as a doctor than to put out this message about cancer awareness on a massive stage?
I’m doing this for one of my best friends, called Rebecca Gibbs, who died six years ago of cancer. Before she died she said to me, whatever comes up for telly, if they ask you to do it, for cancer, you say yes, and you do it. So I said, okay, I’ll do whatever you want! Whatever it takes. And I always have. So that’s the reason I’m doing this. And the fact it’s on ice as well, is just amazing for me because I love skating! It means I can get my ice skates back on so that’s great.
Cancer has affected me personally, so this was the perfect show for me, to raise awareness. All we speak about at the moment is Corona but cancer hasn’t stopped. Even though lots of screenings have, which is so sad. The amount of people that could lose their lives now because Corona has stopped them going to the doctor or getting an early cancer diagnosis, is horrendous.
Anything that I can do to try and change that, I would do every single day if I could. How has it affected you personally? I lost my Dad in December 2016. He had cancer for 18 months and it completely changed my life and my perspective of what I thought was important. When my dad was ill, I felt like no-one had any idea what I was going through, even my close friends. So, if anyone watching this is going through what I’ve been through losing him and can then feel like they’re not alone, I’d be so happy to be able to do that.
The programme is such a good idea to make people realise that if there is something wrong, go and get your body checked. Having had cancer myself, I know how important it is. I was one of the lucky ones because if I’d left it another two or three weeks, I wouldn’t have been here. So I appreciate what the programme’s doing actually and I’m all for it. Hopefully people having watched it will go and get their bodies checked if they need to. Especially at the moment, when we know less people are doing that due to lockdown. It is worrying, because when you miss those early stages, especially the treatment, your chances of living are so much less than if they detect it very early.
The main reason for doing it was seeing everything that my brother has gone through over the last year and a half since he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Obviously it is so important to continue to raise awareness about testicular cancer and prostate cancer as well. To be able to do it in such a positive manner and to be able to reflect what my brother has been through to an audience again, to help raise awareness, it just seemed like definitely the right thing to do.
It’s a great show. I’ve watched before and know what it’s all about, although it’s a bit different this year with the ice!
I’ve wanted to do this for years. I want to help. If me telling my story, about how I’ve been affected by cancer, can help one person then that’s amazing, especially in these times when people are not getting the treatment they need and not seeking the help they need because of Covid.
I lost my dad and my little brother to cancer and my mum suffered from skin cancer as well, so it’s torn my family apart really. But I also want to show people that if you have had loss, you can come out the other side of it.
My brother-in-law Matthew Wolfenden has done the show before and when I watched it I thought it seemed like a great way to give something back. I’m in a position to help and to be asked and it is a great way to do some good. Also, my dad has got prostate cancer, so it’s my gift to him, me making a fool of myself for a good cause!
I’ve been working behind the scenes alongside Ash for the past couple of series getting the men ready for the final performance, so although I might not actually be performing every year I feel like I have seen the amazing journey that everyone goes through from start to finish.
You get to see how much it means for everyone to be there, raising awareness, but there’s still that slight disconnect so to be performing alongside the men this year and properly joining them on the journey is something I would never turn down.
Talking to Attitude about his appearance on the show, the rugby star said: “I am taking my kit off on the ice, that’s a scary thing, I’ll tell you.
“It’s for my grandad who passed away with cancer. And because of my grandad, my mother took my father to hospital and they found cancer – luckily they found in enough time.
"It’s a bonkers, crazy thing to do, but when you realise that you’re doing it for it eclipses the fear of doing it. You’re doing it for the people you love, so it makes it all worthwhile."
Who are the pro skaters taking part?
Dancing on Ice fans will recognise the pro skaters also performing in The Real Full Monty on Ice.
Helping the celebs in the finale are Alex Murphy, Sylvain Longchambon, Alex Demetriou, Vicky Ogden, Maria Fillipov, Katie Stainsby, Oscar Peter, Arthur Ebel, Matthew Fogg, Poppy Miles, David King and Stacey Kemp.
How to watch The Real Full Monty On Ice?
Watch The Real Full Monty On Ice on Monday December 14 and Tuesday, December 15 at 9pm on ITV.
Catch up on the ITV Hub.