A group of male celebrities are set to bare it all on live TV on Wednesday night in a bid to raise awareness for cancer. The show is supported by charities Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, Cancer Research and Everyman.
Get the low down on all the celebs taking part below.
Ashley Banjo, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: The lead dancer of Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity is back for another go at The Real Full Monty. Banjo has done his fair share of TV work in the last few years, judging Sky1’s talent show Got to Dance and more recently ITV’s Dance Dance Dance, as well as co-hosting BBC’s Can’t Touch This with Zoe Ball.
In The Real Full Monty, he’s in charge of whipping the celebrity dancers into shape: “After the amazing time we had last year, I can’t wait to get the chance to teach the 2018 intake how to forget their inhibitions and put on an unforgettable show to raise awareness for this incredibly important issue that really can save lives.”
Alexander Armstrong, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Mainly known for his broad knowledge of, well, everything presenting Pointless, Alexander Armstrong has been in the public eye for 20 years. First starting out as was one half of comedy double-act Armstrong and Miller, alongside Ben Miller, he has gone on to appear on Doctor Who and took over from David Jason to become the voice of Danger Mouse.
He said on taking off his clothes live on TV for the second year in a row: “Last year’s show was a major success, particularly given it was unknown territory. But now we want to see if we can aim for an even better performance to grab people’s attention again for this cause. Hopefully, we’re in for even more fun as we take another bunch of blokes and turn them into show stoppers capable of turning the audience into a frenzy.”
James Argent, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: James Argent – better known as Arg – has been with TOWIE since the beginning, his various on-screen antics making him a firm favourite with fans. He’s reportedly rekindled his romance with Gemma Collins. Arg was suspended from the show for a period in 2014 after failing a drugs test. He’s also done some panto work and appeared on Channel 5’s Celebrity Super Spa.
The reality star has some pretty rational fears ahead of the performance: “I’ve got no problem being on stage performing, I’ve done it thousands of times before,” he says. “The dancing and routine side of things, I’m quite looking forward to. The thing that scares me and the only fear I have, is being on stage with no clothes on!”
John Partridge, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: John Partridge played Jane Beale’s younger brother Christian Clarke in long-running BBC soap EastEnders. He joined the series in 2008 and caused all sorts of bother with his brash ways and bare biceps. He left the Square in 2012, before returning in 2014 for Lucy Beale’s funeral and once again in 2015, for Ian and Jane’s wedding.
Partridge presented The National Lottery and appeared as a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Over The Rainbow talent search.
The actor says he got involved in the show because of his own experience with testicular cancer in 2004.
“I was diagnosed with a tumour on my left testicle in 2004. It’s not something that I’ve discussed publicly before,” he says. “It’s something I have felt a huge amount of shame about in some ways, it makes you evaluate lots of aspects of your life, your masculinity, your virility, your sexuality and it has raised problems for me in my life, up to now. I’m hoping that liberation that I saw on the faces of all those men last year – which really spurred me on to do this – that elation that they experienced in letting go of that, is something that I was keen to have in my own life. So that’s why I’m here.”
Tom Parker, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Parker is best known as the lead singer of British-Irish boy band The Wanted. He has previously starred in Channel 4’s skiing contest The Jump, coming third in the 2016 edition of the show after replacing Tina Hobley, who had to pull out with an injury.
He hopes that he can make a difference by stripping off for charity: “The whole purpose of the show is to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and that in itself was enough for me to take part”, he says. “If us doing this can save one person’s life by them getting checked by a doctor, then it is totally worth baring all.”
Ainsley Harriot, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Veteran TV chef Ainsley Harriott is no stranger to reality television, after a stint on Strictly Come Dancing (he came 12th in 2015). He is best known as the host of cooking contest Ready Steady Cook on the BBC between 1994 and 2010.
He admits he’s feeling the pressure ahead of Wednesday night, describing himself as “slightly nervous because we all want to do a really good job. Ashley [Banjo], the choreographer, has been superb and I don’t want to let him down.”
John Hartson, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Former professional footballer turned ITV pundit Hartson (who played for Celtic, Arsenal, and for the Welsh national team) says he was inspired to join The Real Full Monty following his personal battle with cancer:
“I had testicular cancer that spread to my lungs and onto my brain and I spent time in hospital,” he says. “So when I was asked to take part in this I thought, it’s going to raise an awful lot of awareness for prostate cancer.”
Jeff Brazier, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Brazier began his career as a contestant on Channel 4 reality show Shipwrecked in 2001. He has since forged a career as a TV presenter, appearing on shows such as I’m A Celebrity.. Get Me Out Of Here! Now, The X Factor, OK! TV and This Morning. He was in a relationship with the late reality TV star Jade Goody, who passed away from cervical cancer in 2009, and has brought up the couple’s two sons Bobby Jack and Freddie.
“The most challenging part will be the performance,” he says. “Learning the routine has been fun, working with a professional choreographer is an experience I’ve enjoyed. Meeting the group and getting to know the guys has also been a joy and some of the conversations we’ve had have been thought-provoking.”
Ugo Monye, ITV Pictures, SL
Best known for: Former English international rugby union player Monye now presents the Rugby Union Weekly podcast for the BBC.
“I wanted to be a part of the show simply to help raise awareness,” he says. “Prostate cancer now kills more men in the UK than breast cancer kills woman. I doubt many people would know that. So hoping that through the show we can help to start a conversation, equip men with more information and get guys to be more proactive rather than reactive. This show has the potential to save lives.”