The leading men’s health charity Prostate Cancer UK and the musician and presenter Jools Holland are uniting to present ‘Raise the Roof’, with stars of music and comedy taking to the stage at The Royal Albert Hall this summer for a special event to help stop lives being rocked by prostate cancer.
Hosted by AJ Odudu with Jim Moir at the iconic London venue on Wednesday 22 June 2022, the gig’s sparkling line-up of musicians includes BRIT Award-winners Celeste and Paloma Faith, multi-million record selling Spice Girl Melanie C, legendary Modfather Paul Weller and R&B queen Ruby Turner. Comedy will come from global stand-up star Gina Yashere and multiple award-winners Shaparak Khorsandi and Stephen K Amos. Further special guest appearances are expected to be announced.
‘Raise the Roof’ is the brainchild of Prostate Cancer UK founder Professor Jonathan Waxman alongside his friend, Jools Holland. The composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster explained his personal motivation behind curating the event for the charity. Jools said:
“If I can bring people’s awareness to the facts of prostate cancer then I would certainly stand on top of my piano and shout about it because I think it’s really important. I had no awareness of prostate cancer, no symptoms that I noticed whatsoever, until I was diagnosed following a routine blood test in 2014. Thankfully I was successfully treated, but if more people were aware of their risk and caught the disease early, then more lives would be saved. If Raise the Roof was able to achieve this and save one man’s life it would be the best thing ever that would come out of this.”
Speaking out for the first time about his own diagnosis, Jools explained why he believes it’s important for men to understand more about prostate cancer, and have conversations about it:
“People often think ‘this is something that happens to other people’. It’s not like I felt any different. It’s not like I suddenly felt ill, except you suddenly have this thing hanging over your head and you think ‘hang on, don’t people die from all this?’ So obviously that was of concern, but then once I started talking to Professor Waxman I realised there are all sorts of ways of dealing with it if caught early.”
“Had I not had that routine test, where something had shown up, then I would have just gone on and on until it was perhaps too late to have done anything about it. And that’s why it’s really important for men to be aware of the facts of prostate cancer and understand their risk. One thing I would suggest is going on the Prostate Cancer UK website and to their risk checker page where you will quite quickly work out what your risk of having this disease is. And at least that is a starting point.”
“I think there will be thousands and thousands of other men out there who aren’t aware of prostate cancer, as well as lots of men who find it difficult to talk about this sort of thing. It’s very important to not be afraid to have conversations because it is much better to discuss and address something early, than leave it until it is too late.”
With 1 in 8 men affected by prostate cancer in the UK and thousands diagnosed too late every year, the artists and comedians – some with their own motivations to support the cause – will shine a light on men’s health. The issue was underlined last month as Prostate Cancer UK and NHS England launched a campaign to find the 14,000 undiagnosed men who need treatment for prostate cancer but have not yet come forward due to the pandemic.
Funds raised through ticket and merchandise sales from ‘Raise the Roof’ will go towards research into finding a more effective prostate cancer testing approach that could be used for a UK-wide screening programme.
Professor Jonathan Waxman, President of Prostate Cancer UK, is thrilled that this inspiring entertainment event is being staged to help fund vital research into early diagnosis for men and families affected by prostate cancer:
“It’s amazing that someone so public and so wonderful as Jools can stand up and shine a spotlight on prostate cancer bringing vital awareness of the cause and using his expertise to bring together such a star-studded line-up of guests.”
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. 1 in 8 of our dads, grandads, partners, brothers or friends will get this disease. Music and comedy connect people so ‘Raise the Roof’ will light up our summer and enable conversations which can save lives.”
World class expertise will be in supply both on-stage and off. Producing and directing ‘Raise the Roof’ will be music industry heavyweight Harvey Goldsmith, TV event visionary Malcolm Gerrie and executive producer Katherine Allen both from Entertainment One UK.
The last word from Jools, who anticipates a celebratory evening of fantastic entertainment:
“Some of the greatest artists in the world are going to be there, and we have got some brilliant comedians. It will not only raise money for Prostate Cancer UK research but it will help people just be a little bit aware and consider if they are at risk.”
“In my experience once you get extraordinary people together, one person might ask to do a duet so who knows what surprises there will be in store! The cast is so great that I think we can’t fail to have an evening of joy.”
To join Jools Holland and special guests for an unforgettable night of music and comedy at The Royal Albert Hall, visit: prostatecanceruk.org/get-involved/raise-the-roof