Fans of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing still in a flutter about Mark Foster’s famous physique, will have another chance to see his celebrated pecs as he takes his clothes off again – this time for a very good cause.
Olympic swimmer, Foster, will front this year’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in March, as Marks & Spencer joins forces with The Prostate Cancer Charity to help highlight that the disease is still the hidden cancer.
Foster, who swam to victory, earning medals in the Commonwealth, European and World Championships, has posed in his pants to show his backing for the campaign at M&S stores across the UK, as part of the retailer’s ongoing support of the Charity.
I am only too happy to get involved in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Men can be notoriously reluctant to talk about their health, and it’s for this reason alone that I wanted to do my bit to bring prostate cancer out into the open, and put it in everyone’s consciousness.
I have spent half of my life in swimming trunks, so its not a big deal for me to strip off to my pants. If it makes all of my Strictly Come Dancing fans more aware about prostate cancer, and encourages them to start a conversation with the men in their lives, then so much the better, said Mark.
The successful partnership between The Prostate Cancer Charity and M&S is now in its fourth year. M&S will donate to the Charity ten per cent from the sale of its Autograph range of men’s underwear for the first three weeks of March.
Trolley tokens and pens, for suggested donations of £2, will also be on sale. Last year the high street retailer raised more than £245,000 for the Charity, through sales, as well as numerous fundraising activities.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month will aim to leave prostate cancer nowhere to hide this year, and attempt to expose all of the unseen aspects of the disease, from the fact that it can be a taboo topic, to hidden support and information needs of men living with the disease, which are often not fully met.
John Neate, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: We are thrilled that Mark is lending his support to the campaign this year. I am a Strictly fan myself, so I remember well the sensation that Mark’s appearance caused. I am hoping and expecting that his involvement in the campaign will encourage just as much interest and debate. We are hugely grateful to M&S for their continued support. It gives Prostate Cancer Awareness Month a major boost, and enables us to get our message onto the High Street, in a way we could not do alone.
Foster joins a growing roll-call of celebrities, who have posed in their pants in support of the partnership. Last year, broadcasting dynasty, Peter, Jon and Dan Snow, caused a stir by posing in their underwear, and before that Andi Peters showed the nation the six-pack he had been concealing in his days on children’s television.
Thousands of individuals and groups across the UK will also support the month by staging awareness events, signing up for five-a-side football tournament, The Real Man Cup, or taking part in a brand new fundraising initiative, Do Blue Day.
Whether people encourage their colleagues to wear a sea of blue to work, jump into a bath full of turquoise jelly or cook up a storm with blue-themed foods, they will be raising funds, and critical awareness of prostate cancer. Anyone wanting more information can visit www.hiddencancer.org.uk.
Mark has also dusted off his dance shoes for BBC Three’s new show Dancing On Wheels. The programme will feature six wheelchair users and six celebrities learning the art of wheelchair ballroom with the assistance of Strictly professional Brian Fortuna. Dancing On Wheels starts on Thursday, February 11 at 9pm on BBC Three.