Cancer Research UK hopes to raise millions from Channel 4 series

UK version of Stand Up To Cancer telecasts, launched by the actor Gwyneth Paltrow, will be broadcast in October

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow

Cancer Research UK will receive funds from a week-long series of programmes about cancer that will be screened on Channel 4 in October.

Stand Up To Cancer, which has run in the US since 2008 and is supported by the actor Gwyneth Paltrow, will culminate in an evening-long "live fundraising entertainment extravaganza", a statement from CRUK and Channel 4 said.

Celebrities to be involved include the comedian Alan Carr and the presenter Davina McCall.  

Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative of the US-based charity the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has raised more than £100m for cancer research through two telecasts hosted by the three major US television networks. The third will take place on 7 September.

Celebrities who have supported Stand Up To Cancer in the US include the actors George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson and Michael Douglas.

The UK version will be launched at an event in London with Paltrow towards the end of September, where organisers will announce details of the programmes that will be broadcast during the week.

A spokeswoman for CRUK declined to disclose its fundraising target for the event. "We hope to raise millions but it is the first time we have done this, so it is difficult to know how much we might raise," she said.

The retailer Tesco, which has chosen CRUK as its current charity of the year, has signed up as lead sponsor for the event.

In a statement, Paltrow said: "Like so many people all over the world, I know what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer: it took my dad in the prime of his life.

"Stand Up To Cancer has the power to revolutionise the way we fight this disease, by uniting doctors, scientists and patients in groundbreaking research. This special broadcast will mark a wonderful milestone as Stand Up To Cancer evolves into a true global movement."

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "We've made incredible progress in the past 40 years, but there's so much more to do. It's not just technology or knowledge that we need to win our fight to beat cancer – it's funding. Every pound we raise is a step closer to achieving our goal to beat this disease."

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