Ricky's finger of fun

Gervais backs cancer campaign

Ricky Gervais has launched an anti-cancer campaign, following a run-in with Jonathan Ross.

The Office comic has written and stars in a new radio advert urging men to look out for signs of prostate cancer.

He plays a doctor carrying out a rectal examination on a terrified patient, played by his XFM radio sidekick Karl Pilkington.

Gervais agreed after appearing on pal Jonathan Ross's BBC chat show.

He said: ‘During one of our usual exchanges of insults, I'd called Britain's favourite cockney fop an idiot for pronouncing prostate as “prostrate”.

‘He can't pronounce his R’s at the best of times - why introduce one where it isn't needed?

‘The Prostate Cancer Charity thanked me for putting Wossy in his place and asked if I would be interested in voicing a radio campaign.

‘I said yes, if I could write and produce it - It's a power thing. So I roped in Steve Merchant and Karl Pilkington, and got to work.

‘Karl had expressed his horror in the past at the thought of a rectal examination, and I thought this "fear" was a nice theme. I'd heard that you stand a greater chance of beating cancer if you catch it early enough and the thought of someone dying for the sake of three seconds mild embarrassment is a ripe comedy passage. No pun intended

‘I don't do adverts as a rule but this was great fun and it's nice to keep your hand in. No pun intended.’

He also joked: ‘Doctor Fox is not sanctioned by any medical body to perform such examinations. I only wish I’d known this earlier.’

Charity chief executive, John Neate, said: ‘We cannot thank Ricky enough for making this brilliant advertisement for us. Humour makes it easier, especially for men, to approach and discuss serious health issues.’

To listen to Ricky’s ad visit the charity’s website.


Published: 28 Sep 2005

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