Strictly the Real Full Monty features Blue star Duncan James, Ola and James Jordan, Teddy Soares and Demi Jones and others getting naked in Blackpool for cancer
Image: Piers Allardyce/REX/Shutterstock)
Blue singer Duncan James says stripping on TV in memory of his pal Sarah Harding was “emotional and terrifying”.
But he adds that baring everything on screen is worth it to save lives, saying of the Girls Aloud star: “I still can’t believe she’s no longer here.”
Duncan, 43, appears in Strictly the Real Full Monty on ITV Monday and Tuesday to raise awareness of vital cancer checks. Sarah died of breast cancer in September, aged 39.
Duncan said: “This was way scarier than performing with Blue, but I hope it encourages people to check themselves.
“We did gigs with Girls Aloud… I was closest to Sarah. I felt very sad when I found out she had cancer. With the whole Covid thing, she didn’t want people to go and see her.”
Duncan told how he last messaged Sarah a month before she died and felt “helpless”.
He was also inspired to take part in the show after seeing another close friend, Anastasia, battle breast cancer twice.
He says: “As well as Sarah, one of my best friends is Anastasia. I have been with her when she has gone through breast cancer twice. We are so close, and it was really tough.
“Cancer is horrible. I hope people will check themselves regularly. And if they do see any lumps, it is so important to definitely not leave it and think it will be alright.”
He continued in his only newspaper interview ahead of The Real Full Monty: “We are a nation of prudish people.
“We are not like the Germans where you walk in a sauna, and everyone is completely naked and feeling comfortable! We are much more modest and cover up as a nation.
“For me especially, I grew up in quite a prudish house, where you always covered up. So, getting your kit off in front of an audience was so daunting and nerve-wracking.
“A big part of the battle is trying to find cancer early before it spreads. I hope stripping off will save lives.”
Duncan and celebrities including Colin Jackson, Ola and James Jordan, and Loose Women’s Brenda Edwards filmed their racy routines in Blackpool. Others on the show include model Christine McGuinness and Love Island ’s Teddy Soares and Demi Jones.
– Strictly the Real Full Monty, ITV and ITV Hub, Monday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 14 at 9pm
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