BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire has celebrated her ’emotional, sincere and inspiring’ striptease for The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night just two years after undergoing a mastectomy and reconstruction.
The mother-of-two, 49, was one of eight female celebrities who took part in the ITV show to help raise awareness about breast cancer, including Michelle Heaton, Megan McKenna and Colleen Nolan, by shedding their clothes in front of a live audience.
And fans have paid tribute to the presenter in their droves, with many women saying they have been checking their own breasts thanks to the routine, with more than 5.2million people tuning in.
Victoria, who is mother to Oliver, 13, and Joe, 11, with her long-term partner, radio producer Mark Sandell experienced several crises of confidence before the final performance.
The BBC star revealed she struggled throughout the process as to whether taking her clothes off was really the right way to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to check their breasts.
Cancer survivor and BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire, 49, has been hailed as an inspiration by fans after stripping off for The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night
Coleen Nolan, Helen Lederer, Megan McKenna, Michelle Heaton, Ruth Madoc, Sally Dexter, Sarah-Jane Crawford and Victoria Derbyshire on stage during The Full Monty: Ladies Night
Victoria (right) had a few wobbles along the way, but eventually decided that taking part in the show was the right thing to do
The ladies performed their routine to the emotional lyrics This Is Me from the film The Greatest Showman, shedding their sparkly dresses to reveal black lingerie (pictured right modelled by Megan McKenna)
Halfway through the stars pulled off their dresses to reveal black lingerie covered in diamante and danced with large red feathered fans, pictured
Viewers watching at home praised the women for their bravery and their dedication to such a worthy cause
The BBC presenter praised the show as ’emotional, sincere and inspiring’ after it received an overwhelmingly positive reaction
Victoria also revealed 5.2million people tuned in to the show meaning the message was spread far and wide
The routine was welcomed with a very positive reaction on social media, with some women confirming they had checked their breasts because of the stars’ performance
But in the end, she donned a glittery dress to perform to the emotional lyrics of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman, which she then confidently stripped off to reveal a tasseled bra and pants.
The ladies strutted their stuff on stage before grabbing feathered showgirl fans for the rest of the dance routine – baring their breasts at the very end, filmed tastefully from behind the women.
Praise for the women has been pouring in on social media and an emotional Victoria has been thanking fans for their support on Twitter.
Many told the presenter they had been inspired to check their breasts for cancer after the routine which clearly had an impact on her as she thanked many individually.
One woman wrote on Twitter: ‘You’re inspirational. I’m now going to have a mammogram!’
User Duncan Young wrote: ‘I’m not one for gushing praise, but I’d like to give you nothing but gushing praise. I can’t tell you the good you’ve done and are doing. Inspirational doesn’t come close. X’
Rachel French said: ‘I’d forgotten to check my boobs for ages but I’ll make sure I do, thanks for the reminder.’
Debbie Holden added: ‘Victoria you are an inspiration!!!!! One truly brave lady you were all fanbloodytastic. Thank you for empowering us ladies and raising awareness. Your new found friendship with Coleen was lovely to see. Well done!’
A Twitter user called Dean heaped praise on all the women and said: ‘Absolutely amazing! Truly inspiring. Tears, tears and more tears but you really showed empowerment, I’m glad that any woman I know, Mum, sister, auntie, gran, cousin, daughter and niece have something to watch like this and you’ve have all helped them! THANK YOU!’
Sara Sutton added: ‘So many women have been inspired by you all!’
Despite her nerves during the initial rehearsals, Victoria was the picture of confidence as she performed the routine on stage
Coleen and Victoria experienced an emotional moment after the big performance
Doing it with confidence: The ladies stripped off their glittery dresses to reveal taselled bras and pants
After the routine Victoria tweeted her thanks to her fellow performers and fans for their support and urged women to check their breasts for cancer
Ahead of the show, Victoria said: ‘This process has made me really happy. I’ve had such a good time. Tonight there might be someone watching who learns something about breast cancer they didn’t know before and it might save their life. And that is massive.’
Her efforts were hailed on fans on Twitter who praised the presenter for her bravery, with one adding that she had ‘mind-blowing strength’.
Fellow performer Coleen also had a very personal reason to be on stage with cancer having a devastating impact on her family.
What type of cancer did Victoria Derbyshire suffer from?
Victoria Derbyshire suffered from Stage 2 Invasive Lobular breast cancer. The television star found out she may have breast cancer after she Googled ‘inverted nipple’ in July 2015.
Shortly after the current affairs presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer and went on to have a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Invasive lobular breast cancer means that the cancer started in the cells that line the lobules and has spread into the surrounding breast tissue. The lobules are the glands that make milk when breastfeeding.
More than 1 in 10 breast cancers diagnosed (12.2%) are invasive lobular carcinoma. This type can develop in women of any age. But it is most common in women between 45 and 55 years old.
Possible symptoms include: an area of thickening or swelling a change in the nipple, for example it might turn inwards (become inverted) a change in the skin, such as dimpling or thickening.
The former singer turned Loose Women presenter lost her sister Bernie to the disease in 2013, while last year sibling Linda was also diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.
Speaking about why she wanted to take part in the show, Coleen said: ‘I’m alive and one of my sisters isn’t and the other is going through hell again.’
During the first rehearsal Victoria broke down in tears as Ashley Banjo of Diversity asked her to get on stage to practice her moves.
‘Sorry it’s pathetic. OK this is so out of my comfort zone. God, this is day one. What the heck?’ she said.
‘I haven’t cried for ages about having cancer or my body or whatever. I could just feel these hot tears. This is so embarrassing, I’m going to cry in front of all these women.
Looking back on her breast cancer diagnosis, she recalled how she was sure that her time was up.
‘I thought, OK that’s it. I am probably going to die. I’m not going to see my boys grow up. I’m not going to get old with Mark.’
However, after a mastectomy and reconstruction, chemo and radiotherapy, she is now cancer free.
She added: ‘I’m one of the luckiest women around for still being here. I know that’s not the same for everyone.’
The women also stripped off for a Calendar-girls style photoshoot to help them feel more comfortable about stripping off on stage.
And Victoria told the photographer off for asking her to hold the cakes protecting her modesty in a different position to make her breasts look more even.
‘That’s the whole point. One is real and one isn’t,’ she said.
However, she admitted to feeling nervous about stripping off and feeling insecure about how she looked.
She revealed she was thinking: ‘My breasts, there’s only one of them. One is artificial. Then you go, don’t be ridiculous. You swear a bit and get on with it.’
Victoria experienced another crisis of confidence after visiting the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris to see the dancers perform.
Rather than inspiring her, the experience seemed to put her off.
After turning away from the crowd, the women removed their bras and covered themselves with the feathers before turning back to the face the audience
The women later all removed the fans to reveal their chests to the crowd, which was filmed from behind, before they gathered into a group embrace
Viewers said the display made them ‘proud to be women’ with the cause touching a personal note with many at home
This is the moment the stars removed their tops at the end of the racy routine before covering themselves with the fans
The ‘Ladies Night’ routine followed the male version of the programme, which saw stars including James Argent, John Partridge, Jeff Brazier and Ashley Banjo bare all
Ruth Madoc, left, and Coleen Nolan, right, were among the stars on stage last night at the charity event
Victoria also tweeted a picture of both sets of male and female Full Monty performers who all came together to support a good cause
Look out of this world in a star print skirt by Rixo
Bravo to everyone who took part in The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night!
BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire joined the likes of Coleen Nolan, Megan McKenna and Michelle Heaton for the Moulin Rouge-inspired routine, but if a feathery show costume isn’t what you need in your wardrobe, maybe this glorious skirt is!
It’s by Rixo London, and Victoria is clearly a big fan since we’ve also spotted her wearing an embellished dress by the brand. And she’s not alone! Millie Mackintosh, Heidi Klum and Christine Lampard are in the fan club too.
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‘It’s not right. We could do something else to raise awareness,’ she told Coleen Nolan.
But after sleeping on it, she came to the conclusion that it was the best way to forward.
‘When I was diagnosed I had so much support from other women. And we have to do the same. And if that involves creating a fun, noisy show let’s do it,’ she said.
However, she wobbled again when she saw the sequinned wrap dresses the costume designers produced.
‘I love the sparkles. I do feel there is quite a lot of flesh already exposed,’ she said. ‘I associate knickers and a basque with – nothing to do with breast cancer. Other things that are slightly more derogatory.’
Meanwhile Megan hugged her female comrades as they showcased their joy at baring all for the special performance to help raise awareness about breast cancer while her new beau Mike Thalassitis watched on.
Explaining her decision to sign up for the show, Megan admitted she was hesitant but felt her involvement would help the reach a younger audience.
She confessed: ‘It’s raising awareness for the right things and my following is quite young. I know as a teenager I wouldn’t be sitting at home thinking I need to check my breasts.’
The presenter broke down in tears during the first rehearsal, and admitted it the process had brought back some difficult emotions
Victoria had a wobble when she first stepped on to the stage to practice her routine. She admitted to feeling embarrassed when she realised she was going to cry in front of everyone
The mother-of-two said she felt incredibly lucky to be alive after fearing she wouldn’t make it to see her sons grow up
Victoria with her long-term partner, radio producer Mark Sandell (left). She said her worst fear was not getting to see her two sons grow up (right)
The possibility of developing breast cancer is something singer Michelle is far too familiar with, as the 38-year-old star has had both a double mastectomy and hysterectomy because of the cancer genes she carries.
Revealing why she signed on, she said: ‘The last five years have been a struggle, with my scars and dealing with my body, When I got asked to do this my initial reaction was ”no’.
‘But my husband said ‘maybe you will change someone’s life and give them more confidence’.’
Viewers watching at home praised the women for their bravery, with one viewer writing on Twitter: ‘Have just watched @ITV £RealFullMonty ladies, have to say such brave ladies, excellent choice of song #ThisIsMe very personal to the cause. #BreastCancerAwareness well done all.’
Another wrote: ‘Hands up to those who cried ! Well done you fantastic brave strong ladies you ALL looked amazing £RealFullMonty ladies.’
Another viewer said: ‘Wow that made me proud to be a woman… what a courageous group of ladies with a very strong message £getchecked £CancerAwareness £RealFullMonty ladies.’
One more wrote: ‘Huge well done to you all, you were brilliant! I’ve lost both of my sisters to breast cancer and they would have so loved each and every one of you for this.’
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS! STARS INCLUDING JAMES ARGENT, ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG AND ASHLEY BANJO STRIP OFF FOR CHARITY
A host of male stars bared all to raise money for a good cause in The Real Full Monty on Wednesday, the night before their female co-stars.
They included James ‘Arg’ Argent, who opened up about his body confidence issues as he stripped live on TV.
The reality TV personality was among a celebrity line-up stripping as part of The Real Full Monty on ITV on Wednesday night to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.
He was joined by the likes of dancer Ashley Banjo, The Wanted’s Tom Parker, chef Ainsley Harriot, presenter Alexander Armstrong and former footballer John Hartson.
Getting hot under the collar: The celebrities got into the performance as they ripped open their shirts
For a great cause: The 30-year-old TOWIE star joined presenter Alexander Armstrong, Jeff Brazier, John Patridge and Ashley Banjo to proudly take his kit off for a worthwhile cause
Proud: The celebrities proudly showcased their physiques during the routine
In a clip from training, Argent refused to shower with his fellow celebrities, citing the project was ‘exposing some insecurities’.
‘I’m not gonna lie the thought of taking my kit off, the shape I’m in at the moment, petrifies me. I need to make some changes,’ he added.
In rehearsals Argent also refused to do a full strip, leaving on his T-shirt and underwear.
But for the live performance in Sheffield, Argent – whose grandfather died of prostate cancer – managed to overcome his fears as he performed the routine.
The star was backed by fans on social media who said they had a ‘new found respect’ for him.
Dance, dance: The nine famous faces oozed confidence on-stage despite Arg’s previous admission of his concerns
Red hot! Arg was joined by John and Ashley on stage in their tiny red underwear
Stripping off: James ‘Arg’ Argent made a triumphant appearance on stage as part of ITV’s The Real Full Monty on Wednesday night to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer
@Shazmall wrote on Twitter: ‘Fantastic lads £TheFullMonty and well done #Arg.’
@SamLloyddd posted: ‘Fair play to Arg, it’s not just women that are embarrassed about their bodies. Especially someone that is so young and in the media spotlight much more than anyone else on that stage.’
@Anxiwarrior tweeted: ‘All doing an awesome thing but to be honest, I think Arg is a bit of a legend for doing that when he was so clearly uncomfortable about it.’
@PoppyJayne2 posted: ‘New found respect for arg!!! So sweet!’
@Dan-Dan2788 tweeted: ‘@RealJamesArgent should be so proud of himself! To watch him from the start to the finish and the confidence he got was amazing! You did it Arg! you should be so happy.’
Victoria told the photographer off for advising her to adjust the iced buns to make her breasts look more even, saying the ‘whole point’ was to give a realistic view
The ladies went to the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris to try on the costumes and meet the dancers
Victoria and fellow TV personality Coleen Nolan struck up a firm friendship while filming the show
The breast cancer survivor during a fitting for her performance costume, created by a designer who has made costumes for Strictly
Fans took to Twitter to praise Victoria for her strength in taking part, with other cancer survivors saying she had inspired and moved them
Victoria Derbyshire’s battle with cancer
Victoria Derbyshire, 49, was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in July 2015.
The lobular form of the disease is where cancerous cells start to grow within the breast’s lobules (milk-producing glands) and then spread into the surrounding tissue.
It accounts for one in ten diagnoses of breast cancer and is most common in women aged between 45 and 55.
Tumours do not always form as a firm lump, making it difficult to diagnose.
The presenter was getting ready for bed on a Sunday night when she noticed one breast was lower than the other and her nipple was inverted.
She booked an appointment with her GP after googling the symptom and that Friday she was told she had a malignant tumour.
Unlike in other forms of the disease, surgery is performed first to remove the cancerous cells.
She then underwent a mastectomy on September 24 at Ashford Hospital in Surrey.
Just hours after her mastectomy operation, the BBC presenter recorded a video from her hospital bed to show the side of her removed right breast.
After receiving results from the tissue removed from her during the operation, she was told she needed chemotherapy and the radiotherapy to prevent the cancer from spreading and to try and prevent it from returning.
She had six sessions of chemo and 30 of radiotherapy and completed her treatment in May 2016.
She will have to take the drug tamoxifen daily for the next five to 10 years to try to stop the cancer from returning.
The presenter recorded a video diary charting her surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy