Jools Holland hopes to Raise the Roof with star-studded event for prostate cancer charity

Jools Holland has spoken for the first time about being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 as he announced a star-studded event in support of charity.

The musician and TV star, 64, revealed he was diagnosed following a routine blood test, and at the time had no symptoms – adding that it is “really important for men to be aware of the facts of prostate cancer and understand their risk”.

He has joined forces with men’s health charity Prostate Cancer UK for a musical event titled Raise the Roof, which will see names from the world of music – including Paul Weller and Spice Girl Melanie C, and well-known comedians take to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall on June 22.

In an exclusive interview, Holland 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.

Jools Holland (left) and founder of Prostate Cancer UK, Professor Jonathan Waxman.

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“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.”

The event, which will be hosted by former Strictly Come Dancing star and TV presenter AJ Odudu and comedian and actor Jim Moir, also boasts a line-up including Celeste, Paloma Faith, Ruby Turner, comedy stars Shaparak Khorsandi, Gina Yashere and Stephen K Amos – with more names still to be announced.

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Jools Holland has spoken for the first time about being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 as he announced a star-studded event in support charity.

Funds from Raise the Roof, which was the idea of Holland, and his friend and the founder of Prostate Cancer UK, Professor Jonathan Waxman, will go towards research into helping to find a better testing approach to prostate cancer and one which could be used for a UK-wide screening programme, the charity said.

Holland said: “People often think ‘this is something that happens to other people’. It’s not like I felt any different.

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“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?’ 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.

“I’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.”

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Professor Waxman said: “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.

To join Jools Holland and special guests at The Royal Albert Hall visit prostatecanceruk.org/get-involved/raise-the-roof

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