The stars, all supporters of Prostate Cancer UK and with a personal interest or connection with the disease, have taken time from their schedules to star in this compelling mini-drama with a twist, which pulls a dramatic punch about the disease.
Prostate Cancer UK’s 18-minute film, entitled Father’s Day, will air as part of ITV’s week long corporate responsibility campaign, Stand By Your Man. ITV’s campaign was developed in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK and aims to raise awareness of the disease in the run up to Father’s Day.
Charles Dance said: “I wanted to do the film because it’s a very good cause. I know two or three people, probably more, who have had prostate cancer. We chaps have to know that as we get older the prostate can become a problem. It’s a funny little gland and for most of us nothing much will happen, but men need to be aware of the risks. I did recognise the reluctance of the men in the film to talk about such issues. While men tend to make more of a drama than women over everyday illness, they tend not to open up as much about more difficult matters.”
John Simm added: “It’s a shocking statistic that one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK. I hope the film will raise awareness so that men won’t treat prostate cancer as such a taboo subject between themselves, and that it will help them to be aware of, and not ignore, the symptoms.”
The film will air on ITV4 at 11.15pm on Father’s Day, rounding off ITV’s week long Stand By Your Man campaign. At a time when men, in particular fathers, are at the forefronts of many of our minds, ITV will be asking viewers to pledge their support during the week, to increase awareness around the disease in the run up to Father’s Day.
Men aren’t always as forthcoming as women when it comes to talking about health issues, and with this campaign ITV hopes to start a conversation about prostate cancer which could potentially help save lives.
Women have proved to be a major force in the fight against diseases such as breast cancer, and in this week, ITV will be asking them to join the Stand By Your Man campaign by pledging to talk to the men in their lives – fathers, husbands, partners, sons, boyfriends – about the potential symptoms of prostate cancer and who is most at risk.
The campaign will run from 11th June, and throughout this week, ITV daytime shows such as This Morning will support the campaign, featuring case studies, personal stories, or famous faces whose lives or loved ones have been touched by disease.
ITV Newsrooms across the country will also be raising awareness, with local news stories and interviews.
The on-air campaign will be supported by a social media campaign, using a mixture of ITV’s much loved programme brands and celebrity support to encourage conversations on #Standbyyourman. In particular both genders will be encouraged to lend their voice in helping raising awareness by joining Prostate Cancer UK’s pledge hosted on their website.
Prostate Cancer UK has created a dedicated webpage that will house a range of information on the campaign, including its new Guide for Partners & Family. ITV programme webpages for shows such as This Morning will drive viewers to this page, encouraging them to raise awareness by joining a pledge to get the men in their lives talking about this disease, and their health in general.
“Everyone with a father, husband, partner, brother, son or best mate has a vested interest in this cause. The breast cancer movement is an inspiration to us. We need the same sense of momentum, inspiration and galvanising spirit to fight prostate cancer and help more men to survive the disease and enjoy higher quality of life. ITV’s huge nationwide influence means the ‘Stand By Your Man’ campaign is a fantastic opportunity to reach thousands of men and could save many lives because prostate cancer can often be successfully treated if detected early enough,” said Owen Sharp, Prostate Cancer UK’s CEO.
Sara Hanson, Head of Corporate Responsibility at ITV said, “With our From The Heart campaign in February, ITV used the memorable date of Valentine’s Day to highlight the issues around organ donation across a range of programmes. With our Stand By Your Man campaign, developed in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK, we hope that in the run up to Father’s Day, we can do the same, and encourage our viewers to be more aware of the symptoms and issues around a disease that will affect 1 in 8 men during their lifetimes. This is part of our Corporate Responsibility agenda, to run campaigns that use the collective reach of our regional and national programmes to make a difference.”