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Lorraine Kelly on her ‘No Butts’ campaign – ‘I’m making sure people don’t die of embarrassment!’

The 'No Butts' campaign will be launched by Lorraine Kelly on her morning show.
The 'No Butts' campaign will be launched by Lorraine Kelly on her morning ITV show. (Image credit: ITV)

While preparing for the 'No Butts' campaign, Lorraine Kelly was shocked to learn that bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, killing 44 people each day. But if it’s caught early, it’s treatable and curable. ‘No Butts’ aims to break down any taboos and encourage us all to ditch the stiff upper lip and start talking about our bowel movements. 

Teaming up with ‘Bowel Babe’ Deborah James, an activist and influencer who has been living with stage 4 bowel cancer since 2016, the 'No Butts' campaign will provide reminder stickers listing the symptoms of bowel cancer, to be placed anywhere we ‘park our bums’ from public toilets to service stations and sofa stores.

“It’s about raising awareness of bowel cancer and the signs and symptoms, as well normalising talking about it,” says Lorraine. “It’s making sure people don’t die of embarrassment.”

Here, Lorraine Kelly, 61, explains what she hopes to achieve from the 'No Butts' campaign…

Lorraine Kelly’s ‘No Butts’ campaign start date…

The ‘No Butts’ campaign will be launched by Lorraine Kelly on her ITV Lorraine show from 9am on Monday 19th April and via catch up on the ITV Hub.

Lorraine Kelly explains her hopes for the ‘No Butts’ campaign…

“It’s about raising awareness of bowel cancer and the signs and symptoms, as well normalising talking about it. Hopefully if people see me talk about poo on national tv, they won’t feel so embarrassed because, at the end of the day, we all do it. I know it’s uncomfortable for some people to talk about these things, but we have to work hard to diffuse that so people can talk about their bowel habits. I think this is where shows like mine and ITV’s other daytime shows come into their own, because we talk about cancer and other uncomfortable subjects. It’s so important to spark conversation and kick these taboos into touch.”

Lorraine Kelly on the responsibility she feels to raise awareness…

“It’s a responsibility I take very seriously and it is a privilege to be able to do it if you have a platform like mine. These campaigns are at the heart of the show, whether we’re talking about the menopause, breast cancer or mental health, and it’s one of the things that certainly I am most proud of. Of course my show is also there to make people feel better and entertained, but there is an element of informing people and making them aware about health issues.”

Lorraine Kelly reveals how talking taboos has changed over the years…

“When I first joined TV-AM, people didn’t talk about cancer on air. It was called ‘The C word’ and it was said in hushed tones. I think we broke down an awful lot of those barriers, not just with cancer but other health issues, sexuality, mental health. It’s silly to think of anything like that as being controversial these days but back then it was. In breakfast and daytime television, we were the pioneers and we were the first people to actually talk about things like bowel cancer. Before that, you only heard about it on medical shows or in medical articles in newspapers.”

Lorraine Kelly talks about Deborah James, aka 'Bowel Babe'…

“She’s wonderful, an amazing woman and also an incredible ambassador. She has been a trailblazer and making it okay to talk about these sorts of things. She also shows that it isn’t just older people that get bowel cancer, younger people do too, even though it’s rarer. I feel like every time she comes on the show, she saves lives because she is encouraging people to get an early diagnosis. Deborah now of course is living with a Stage 4 diagnosis and while there’s a lot more that can be done now, you have got to give yourself that chance and get to your GP. Nine times out of ten, it will probably be nothing, but it’s that one time when you want to catch it.”

No Butts 'Bowel Babe' Deborah James.

No Butts 'Bowel Babe' Deborah James. (Image credit: ITV)

Lorraine Kelly explains how she has Dr Hilary on speed dial…

“I’m very lucky in that I don’t really have that many health problems or certainly haven’t up until now. The only medication I take is HRT which I have been on for about four or five years and when I talked about the menopause on my show, it got such a huge reaction. What’s great for me is that I have Dr Hilary, so if I am worried about anything, Hilary is great and I can just call him and speak to him. I was worried about my dad last year and I always ran things past him.”

Lorraine Kelly on why cancer screenings are vital…

“We are in such a privileged position in this country with the NHS that we get offered all the checks. We’re incredibly lucky because in many countries you have to pay, so the poor then suffer the most and the people that need more help than anyone else don’t get it. What a privilege to get a call inviting you for a mammogram or a smear test or a prostate cancer test, whatever it may be. You’ve got to take advantage of these things.”

Lorraine Kelly opens up about her friend’s cancer battle…

“My friend Lynn Faulds Wood had bowel cancer and, luckily, made a really incredible recovery from it. A lot of people will remember her from presenting a lot of consumer shows and being married to the presenter John Stapleton. She was one of the first people to talk about bowel cancer and changes in your poo on television. That was back in my TV-AM days and she was evangelical about raising awareness. She set up her own bowel cancer charity and did some amazing things. Sadly, Lynn died last year from a stroke, but her legacy lives on. Her husband John is going to come on to the show as part of our ‘No Butts’ campaign and talk about her. I’m so pleased about that because he is a great guy, and it’s been really hard for him losing Lynn.”

Deborah James talks about the importance of Lorraine Kelly’s ‘No Butts’ campaign…

 “It’s literally life or death. I’m over the moon to be involved.  As somebody who lives with bowel cancer, I shouldn’t be alive - statistically I’m on borrowed time. Had my cancer been caught early, I wouldn’t be in that situation, so I want to prevent others going through what I’ve had to deal with. I’m going to be going up and down the country, meeting people and talking about bums and bowel habits. We have a travelling pink sofa and we’re going to be parking as many bums on it as possible and starting a conversation. It’s making people not feel embarrassed to talk about it because that is the gateway into prevention. If we just save one life with ‘No Butts’, it is worth it.”

No Butts campaign — bowel cancer symptoms to look out for...

* Blood coming from your bottom or in your stools.

* Obvious change in bowel habit.

* Weight loss you can't explain.

* Extreme tiredness.

* Lump and/or pain in your tummy.

For more information head to https://www.itv.com/lorraine and www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk