Stand Up To Cancer raises biggest total ever

On Friday 21st October stars from across the worlds of entertainment, music and sport came together for Stand Up To Cancer, the joint national fundraising campaign from Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK.

Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Adam Hills were at the helm of the spectacular live TV fundraiser and the campaign has so far raised an incredible £15,700,222 in 2016 for research into cancer which will accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.

Money is still coming in and donations can still be made at To give £10 or £5 text TEN or FIVE to 70404 or call 0300 123 4444. 100% of your donation goes to Cancer Research UK in support of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

The live extravaganza, a culmination of inspirational programming and epic fundraising activities, was heaving at the seams with celebrity sketches, comedy skits, interviews and tear-jerking moments, all banging that Stand Up To Cancer drum.

There was an incredibly stirring moment as Boy George led a choir made up of medical professionals in a stunning tribute to David Bowie as he took on one of his hero’s most famous songs; Starman. Hollywood stars Matthew McConaughey, Jon Hamm and Eva Longoria came together for a hilarious sketch and the world’s sexiest doctor, Doctor Mike, was on hand as our medical authority for the evening. The Last Leg boys were joined by John Legend and Boy George meanwhile, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Niall Horan, Olly Murs, Steve Coogan and Anna Friel were the very special stars of our Celebrity Gogglebox special.

Princess of pop Britney Spears was on hand to show us how easy it was to donate, super smooth Michael Buble was our superstar supertease leading us through the events of the evening and David Mitchell and a host of stars including Jack Whitehall, James Corden, David Coulthard, Steve Jones and Jonathan Ross were also on hand to highlight the importance of checking your balls.

Joining Davina, Alan and Adam for Stand Up To Cancer live included Martin Freeman, John Legend, Bear Grylls, Greg Rutherford, Fred Siriex, Jamie Laing, Joe Lycett, The Celebrity Islanders and Tom Davis.

Steve Coogan introduced Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds rendition of Royle Family theme tune Half The World Away in an emotional tribute to comedy legend Caroline Aherne.

Steve Coogan on Caroline Aherne:

"Thirty years ago when I started out in comedy I met a Manchester girl who worked as a secretary at the BBC. She was sassy, sexy, earthy, kind, smart, sometimes daft, she mercilessly took the piss, she made me and a small gang of Manchester friends laugh until they cried. Her name was Caroline Aherne. She was both ordinary and extraordinary. She told me she wanted to work in comedy but when she asked her boss at the BBC, he said she wasn't quite right. Sometimes people can't see what's in front of their eyes. That soon changed, she started performing a character called Sister Mary Immaculate and within a few years she had become a household name with Mrs Merton and later The Royle Family, which she made with her long time friend and collaborator Craig Cash; she had a special bond with him.

I never thought Caroline would become famous; she seemed too real, too genuine. And whilst I was overjoyed when she did, I was also a bit sad that she wouldn't just be that funny girl who lived down the road. She said so many funny things - I remember when I was working on a comedy pilot with her at Granada Television, it was a hot day and I'd arrived wearing shorts. She took one look at my legs and said 'that reminds me, I must get some chicken drumsticks on the way home!"

Craig said that when she was ravaged by cancer and depression and had little to laugh about, she made damn sure that everyone else did. When she had cancer of her bladder and she thought she'd need a permanent catheter she was crying to her mum 'mum, I might have to have a bag. If I have a bag, I'll never meet a man.' Her mum said 'you will meet a man, you will meet a man Caroline and he will have a bag.'

A lot of her stories were about her mum Maureen who I know she loved her dearly. After one operation she had to have a tracheotomy and she couldn't speak and she wrote on a piece of paper to her mum 'I can't speak' and her mum wrote on another piece of paper 'don't worry.' Caroline scribbled on another piece of paper in block capitals NO YOU CAN TALK!

Craig told me the last days of her life she had a piece of paper she had a piece of paper stuck on the noticeboard in her kitchen quoting WH Auden. It said 'Among those I like or admire I can find no common denominator but among those I love, I can. All of them make me laugh.' She was living proof that laughter will always be the best medicine. Caroline Aherne.

There was also a very special edition of Humans where Anita and the Hawkins family were

joined by some unexpected celebrity synths including Greg Davies, Louie Spence, Vanessa Feltz and Thom Evans.

Other highlights included the return of 90s favourite Streetmate, with an added First Dates twist and very special sketches featuring the likes of José Mourinho, John Bishop, David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Laura Trott, Jason Kenny, Lydia Bright, Ferne McCann and Little Mix along with guest appearances from Bastille and Frances.

Ed Havard, Head of Entertainment at Channel 4 said, “Within the space of a couple of years, Stand Up To Cancer on Channel 4 has grown to become the most extraordinarily successful fundraiser. A very large number of production companies produced content for the SU2C season this year and we are hugely grateful to them and to the incredible array of famous faces who took part."

Sir Harpal Kumar, CEO of Cancer Research UK said, “1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime and that statistic is the driving force behind the fantastic partnership Cancer Research UK has established with Channel 4.

“Friday night was the culmination of an amazing campaign that has seen the nation come together and raise a staggering £15.7 million for research that will get better treatments and cures to patients here in the UK sooner.

“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. And to those who will continue to do so. Thanks to the generous public, we are getting ever closer to our goal of beating this disease. Your donations will fund vital research that will help us save more lives.”

#standuptocancer trended all night on 21st October on Twitter.

About Stand Up To Cancer (UK)

  • Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4
  • Before tonight, more than £25 million has been raised in the UK to date and 30 trials and projects have been funded, with around 9,000 cancer patients either participating, or due to participate. 
  • Stars such as Naomi Campbell, Noel Gallagher, Nicole Scherzinger, Pharrell Williams, Tom Hardy, Britney Spears, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jamie Oliver, Miranda Hart, Richard Ayoade, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jack O’Connell, Lily James, Rosamund Pike, Sophie Turner, Stephen Graham, Toby Jones and Will Poulter are just some of the talent who have supported Stand Up To Cancer 

October 26, 2016 5:10am ET by Channel 4  

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