Gemma Collins is going to join celebrities such as Paul Burrell in baring everything for a good cause.
The celebs lined up to jingle their bells have been announced with the return of The Real Full Monty this Christmas.
Ashley Banjo and Loose Women’s Coleen Nolan will be back with a new group of celebrities in an epic performance to raise awareness about life-saving cancer tests.
This year, the GC and former royal butler Paul will strip naked on stage alongside TV presenter Julia Bradbury, Dancing on Ice skater Vanessa Bauer, and actress Sherrie Hawson.
Victoria Ekanoye from Death in Paradise, footballer Ashley Cain, ex-rugby player Ben Cohen, and Drag Race’s Ella Vaday round out the cast, which is completed by Towie’s Pete Wicks.
The upcoming series’ synopsis adds: ‘As well as following the celebs as they overcome their fears and insecurities about performing and baring all, the show will reveal the deeply personal and significant reasons why each person has decided to take part in raising awareness of cancers in intimate areas of the body and the crucial importance of early self-checks to help save lives.’
Paul, 64, of I’m A Celebrity fame, stated earlier this year that he has completed radiation treatment for prostate cancer after being diagnosed with the condition in January.
He said he didn’t think such a thing would ever happen to him and added that he’s on an ’emotional, educational rollercoaster’.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly when he announced his diagnosis earlier this year, Paul said: ‘I’m tired, I’m on hormone therapy, it’s robbing me of my testosterone so my beard isn’t growing as it should, I’m tired, and I’m getting hot flushes.
‘In the summer I had to go for a medical for a TV programme I was doing and their duty of care was to go for a full medical.
‘And out of that was a high level of a chemical PSA produced by your prostate gland.’
Struggling to hold it together, dad-of-two Paul, went on: ‘I was [recently] wrapping Christmas presents, wondering, “Will I be here next Christmas?”
‘I had to tell my boys, and they said to me, “Dad, we need to spend more time with you”, and that’s what it’s about.’
Julia, a TV personality, stated in 2021 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy later that year.
She has now shared her experience and recovery, as well as constantly advising people to inspect their breasts for anything out of the norm.
A source had claimed earlier this year that she’d be signing up for the show, telling The Sun: ‘Julia calls herself a “cancer thriver” and she sees taking part as the embodiment of that — doing something bold and brave.
‘She jumped at the chance of being involved as she wants to do everything she can to encourage men and women to check themselves and be more open about their health.’
The insider added: ‘While other members of the cast are dancers or performers, it won’t come as naturally for Julia — but that’s what will make her involvement all the more inspiring.’
Meanwhile, rugby player Ben’s participation in the programme comes after his ex-wife Abby, 44, announced her cancer diagnosis with only one symptom ‘warning’ her.
She wrote: ‘This was and is the toughest yet. I’m unlucky, but lucky, to have been warned only once with a symptom of this terrible illness.
‘With huge thanks to the NHS for saving my life & taking good care of me when I felt so scared & most vulnerable.
‘I can’t express enough how lucky I am to have such amazing family & friends that have helped me through this incredibly tough journey.’
She continued: ‘Never ignore your body when it’s trying to warn you, I didn’t & it’s given me a chance to live my new life.
‘In time and with the right treatment, I’m hoping this WILL all be a distant memory for me. You never know how strong you are until it’s your only choice.’
Ben divorced Abby after 11 years of marriage in 2014, and moved on to date his old Strictly dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff.
Ashley, a footballer and TV celebrity, rounds out the lineup after sadly losing his daughter Azaylia at the age of eight months to cancer.
He then joined Celebrity SAS to deal with the ‘trauma’ of her death, claiming, ‘Losing my daughter was the most terrible experience of my life.
‘I think to combat trauma you need to step outside your comfort zone and see who you really are.’
Later on the show, he stated that he will ‘never forget’ the moment his daughter died.
‘I couldn’t have been a happier, prouder father. Then, all of a sudden, things changed. When they told us there was nothing more they could do, it completely broke me,’ he said.
‘All I wanted to know at that point was if she goes, she’ll go in my arms and she’ll go peacefully.
‘And at eight months old, she passed away in mine and my partner’s arms, and I believe she had a peaceful transition to the other side.’
Ashley went on to praise his daughter, noting how ‘wonderful’ she was despite her illness.
‘She was incredible. She showed strength, she showed courage, she showed everything it takes for a person to get on in this world,’ he shared.
‘She passed away in my arms and that was a moment I’ll never forget. One thing I will remember is, every single day while my daughter was fighting this disease, she smiled every day. She fought every day, and she made the most of every single day and that’s a lesson I’ll take through my life.’
The star added that Azaylia continues to spur him on: ‘She didn’t have the chance at life that I have, and I definitely don’t wanna waste mine.
‘I wanna make her proud, I wanna show people that, no matter what you go through in life, you can overcome anything.’
The Real Full Monty returns to ITV later this year.
Source My Celebrity Life.