What's next for Dame Jenni Murray? The Full Monty

Sophie Barnes
·3-min read
Dame Jenni, 70, is set to strip off for ITV’s The Real Full Monty On Ice to boost awareness of cancers affecting “intimate parts of the body”.  - PA
Dame Jenni, 70, is set to strip off for ITV’s The Real Full Monty On Ice to boost awareness of cancers affecting “intimate parts of the body”. - PA

When she quit Woman’s Hour, Dame Jenni Murray said it was time to “move on to a new stage”.

Her first venture in broadcasting after leaving the Radio 4 programme is certainly that.

Dame Jenni, 70, is set to strip off for ITV’s The Real Full Monty On Ice to boost awareness of cancers affecting “intimate parts of the body”. The broadcasting veteran will join a cast of celebrities performing revealing routines in the name of cancer awareness for a two-part special airing this winter.

This year’s programme follows The All New Monty: Who Bares Wins and The Real Full Monty on ITV, which saw male celebrities bare all while their female counterparts were almost nude by the end of their routines.

The risqué routines will be performed on ice for the first time this year.

What's next for Dame Jenni? The Full Monty - Tricia Yourkevich/BBC 
What's next for Dame Jenni? The Full Monty - Tricia Yourkevich/BBC

Known for her direct and open style on the airwaves, Dame Jenni has been frank about her experience of breast cancer and her mastectomy 14 years ago.

Writing about her experience in 2007, she recalled a time when “cancer of any kind was so feared and hidden, it was invariably referred to in terrified whispers as ‘the C-word’ and no one would have dreamed of saying ‘breast’ in polite company”.

She has credited the women’s rights movement and programmes such as Woman’s Hour with encouraging women to “speak openly about cancers in the most intimate of places” as well as pressing for better diagnosis and treatment.

Dame Jenni, who was the longest serving Woman’s Hour host, announced her departure from the programme in July, saying it was “time to move on”.

The cast on the new show includes former rugby player Gareth Thomas and This Morning’s medical expert Zoe Williams. Professional skaters from Dancing On Ice will join the celebrities to perform in the programme, which is being presented by dance troupe Diversity’s Ashley Banjo and Loose Women television presenter Coleen Nolan.

Nolan recently said she was considering having a double mastectomy after two of her sisters were diagnosed with cancer.

The Nolans lost another sister, Bernie, to cancer seven years ago.

The NHS has recently launched a campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked, after figures revealed the numbers getting urgent checks have been lower than normal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Banjo said: “We are so proud of what this show has achieved in reminding people to check themselves for early signs of cancer and we’re going all out this year to get that message across.

“Following lockdown, when far fewer people were getting health checks, now more than ever this message is important.

“Performing on ice will take the challenge to a whole new level – the celebrities won’t know what’s hit them. What could possibly go wrong?”

Nolan said: “I keep saying ‘never again’ to getting my kit off, but the response we get from the millions of women who feel empowered to check themselves after the show is incredible, so here we go again.

“This year is more personal than ever for me, as two of my amazing sisters are battling cancer once more.

“I’m inspired by them and everyone I meet who’s been touched by this dreadful disease, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be back leading a new awesome group of women, ready to bare all with me.

“But as this year it’s on ice, let’s just hope we don’t get frostbite on our unmentionables.” The show will air across two 90-minute specials over the festive period.