On Friday 17 October stars from TV, fashion, music, sport and film came together for Stand Up To Cancer, the joint national fundraising campaign from Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK. The live TV fundraiser on Channel 4 reunited hosts Alan Carr, Davina McCall and Dr Christian Jessen. The campaign raised an incredible £14,520,756 so far in 2014 for research into cancer which will help accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.
The show, a culmination of inspirational programming and epic fundraising activities, featured comedy sketches, celebrity interviews and moving real-life stories. There was an incredibly emotional moment as the Children’s Choir featuring special guest Nicole Scherzinger performed live; while ‘Andy Murray the Movie’ saw the tennis champ casting the lead role for his biopic alongside his director Richard Ayoade. Auditionees included US music royalty Pharrell Williams, sports stars Rory McIlroy and Cesc Fàbregas, and Britney Spears – who auditioned for the part of Andy’s girlfriend Kim Sears.
Other highlights included the ultimate bakeoff between Taylor Swift and Jamie Oliver, Hollywood star Bradley Cooper meeting Ella, a very brave teenager who has come through cancer with an incredible story to tell, and Sherlock stars couple Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington having their minds blown by Derren Brown.
Jack Whitehall was also on hand to raise awareness of testicular cancer with a very special sketch from the original Men Behaving Badly boys. Meanwhile Kathy Burke, Paul O’Grady, Miranda Hart and friends, plus Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Noel Gallagher were the very special stars of our Gogglebox: celebrity specials which drew a massive peak audience of 4.3m.
The night also saw the use of revolutionary technology to heighten audience interaction in a way not previously seen on TV. Hundreds of iPads were used by audience member to continually update and reflect the fundraising figures in real-time.
Love was also in the air, with a romantic on stage proposal between Annie Upton and Dean Charlton, who surprised his girlfriend by taking the stage with Diversity.
Finally, The Last Leg boys ended the evening by stripping to their smalls, and Adam Hills went full monty in front of channel 4 towers!
#standuptocancer and #SU2C trended all night on 17 October on Twitter, with over 125,000 mentions on the night. Alan Carr’s on-stage selfie was re-tweeted 32,000 times. One Facebook post, about brave cancer patient Lloyd, reached over 1.6m Facebook users and had 44,000 likes and 3,700 shares.
Joining Davina, Alan and Dr Christian for Stand Up To Cancer live included Naomi Campbell, Kirstie Allsopp, Mickey Flanagan, Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall, Keith Lemon, Gok Wan, Nicole Scherzinger, John Legend, Josh Harnett, Laura Whitmore and Mel B, to name just a few, along with guest appearances from Rhodes and Ella Eyre.
Dr Harpal Kumar, CEO of Cancer Research UK, said: “Friday night was the culmination of an amazing campaign that has seen the nation come together to turn the tables on cancer.
“I’d personally like to thank everyone who joined us to Stand Up To Cancer this year – through contributing on the night, watching the show, buying our merchandise, taking part in our events and fundraising for us over the past few months. Thanks to the generous public, we are getting ever closer to our goal of beating this disease. Your donations will fund vital research which will turn breakthroughs in our labs into better treatments for patients sooner and help us save more lives.”
Ed Havard, Head of Live Events and Special Programmes at Channel 4 said: “We’re blown away by what has been achieved this evening, and want to thank both our incredible talent and the public who have come out and supported us in droves tonight. We’ve smashed our 2012 figure and also created a movement that is a force to be reckoned with.”
Justin Gorman, Head of Entertainment at Channel 4 said: “Tonight has proved that Stand Up To Cancer is a show that manages to be both entertaining and emotive, and as we can see by the total, the public really are responding to our challenge: to show cancer it’s payback time.”
Donations can still be made to Stand Up To Cancer at www.standuptocancer.org.uk (link is external) and t-shirts and other merchandise are still available online. When all donations are in, Cancer Research UK will begin the process of assessing the research proposals received and the task of allocating the funds raised to new clinical trials which will help turn breakthroughs in the labs to breakthroughs in hospitals. Highlights from the fantastic fundraising event will be shown on Saturday morning from 8am on Channel 4.
Full press release on