Today programme host Nick Robinson, Olympic diver Tom Daley and entertainer Bill Bailey are teaming up with a leading cancer charity to encourage men to talk about cancer.
They are among a group of celebrities who are backing the Find The Words campaign being spearheaded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Findings from Macmillan reveal that 250,000 men living with the disease in Britain are fighting against feelings of fear, depression or worry as a result of their diagnosis.
More than half (55 per cent) of men affected have not looked for support for their feelings.
Nick Robinson, 59, who was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour during 2015, said having the support of a Macmillan speech and language therapist helped him to deal with his fears.
He underwent surgery to remove the tumour on his lung and told how the therapist gave him the confidence to speak out about his experience.
Robinson said: “When I’d had my operation, I lost my voice and didn’t dare talk to anyone about it. I thought my career was over, but I did talk to my Macmillan nurse. He was an incredibly good listener and encouraged me to explain what I was scared of and talked me through what I wanted to know.”
Comedian, singer and actor Bill Bailey lost his dearest friend of 30 years, Sean Lock, to lung cancer aged 58, in August 2021.
He has spoken about their friendship and ways they confided in each other as they went through their battle.
“Sean and I often went walking together in the countryside and during these long rambles our conversations would range far and wide over all manner of subjects, from just trying to make each other laugh, to more cerebral and in-depth discussions, and all points in between,” he said. “I think men often avoid talking about serious subjects.”
Tom Daley, Olympic gold medallist and television personality lost his father to a brain tumour in 2011 aged 40, when he was just 17.
He said: “We know men find it difficult to talk but, honestly, it has been my way of coping. To anyone struggling, I know it’s not easy to talk about cancer, but maybe just try it, it could help.”
First Dates star Merlin Griffiths, DJ and presenter Trevor Nelson, singer-songwriter Jay McGuiness and actor Colin McFarlane are also supporting the campaign.
Macmillan has specially trained nurses and advisers on hand at the end of its Support Line seven days a week to support those who are battling the disease on 0808 808 0000 8am-8pm.