Jon Holmes opens up about his prostate cancer | a new podcast featuring a host of other comedians

Jon Holmes opens up about his prostate cancer a new podcast featuring a host of other comedians

Jon Holmes has revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.

The former Now Show regular turned creator of radio comedies including The Skewer is now launching a Radio 4 series and podcast about his experiences.

In the show – entitled Jon Holmes Says The C-Word  – he talks to others who have been diagnosed with the disease including comedians Stephen Fry, Mark Steel, Richard Herring, Matt Forde  and Eric Idle.

Holmes says: ‘If there had been a podcast like this when I was diagnosed - one full of other people’s stories, advice and light moments to illuminate the darkness of the whole sorry process I’d have lapped it up. But there wasn’t, so I spoke to Radio 4, and now there is.’

The aim of the show is to help get men talking more openly ‘about the preposterous indignity of dealing with cancer’.

According to the BBC ‘Jon and his guests will demystify all things cancer in raw, honest, difficult, often absurd and – yes – funny detail, from fingers up the bum to blood tests via biopsies, surgery, catheters, stomas, feeding tubes, penis pumps (no, really) and incontinence pads.

‘Jon will seek to stop the stigma and embarrassment associated with these issues, to raise awareness and encourage listeners to get checked as he aims to remove the fear from the whole diagnosis and treatment process in an accessible and entertaining way.’

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Holmes, 55, explained that after his diagnosis 'I so badly wanted to talk to another man about it [but] I absolutely did not want that tilty-head pity look'.

Instead, he wanted to know more practical advice, like what a catheter would feel like, or what do you do with a penis pump, used to boost blood flow after prostate surgery..

'But it was really hard to find other men to talk to about cancer,' he said, 'I thought, "If I get through this, I'm going to write a book or make a podcast for men with all forms of cancer that I would have binge-listened to had it existed."'

Other guests will include actors Colin McFarlane and Ben Richards, r The Alarm frontman Mike Peters, and journalists Jeremy Langmead, Nick Owen and Jeremy Bowen.

Commissioning editor Rhian Roberts added: ‘Jon has been so generous in both sharing his own cancer story and also creating a new place for more men to open up and tell theirs. It's down to earth, full of facts and with as much fun as Jon can muster, and that’s quite a lot. We hope it becomes a space where listeners know they’re in good company, no matter how difficult the subject can be.’

The eight-part series is being made by Holmes’ own production company, Unusual and starts on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday July 9 at 11pm, with episodes released weekly on BBC Sounds.

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Published: 18 Jun 2024

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