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This Is England stars unite for their biggest fight yet

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by Cancer Research UK | News

10 October 2016

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Stephen Graham, Thomas Turgoose, Andrew Shim and Hannah Walters, stars of This Is England, unite against a new enemy in a powerful film for Stand Up To Cancer released today.

“Cancer has taken too many people from me, my family and my friends. Today, it finally felt that we could take some revenge.” – Stephen Graham, actor

The four, who have all lost close family members to cancer, use heavy, wooden bats and metal pipes to destroy a huge concrete structure of the word ‘cancer’ in an epic battle scene. Seen together for the first time since This is England ‘90, their passion and fierce determination is evident as they attack it one letter at a time, filling the air with rubble and dust.

Behind the scenes footage was also filmed. 

The film and photos show how we can destroy cancer together if we Stand Up To Cancer and fund research that will result in getting kinder treatments and cures to UK patients sooner.  We need to save more lives, more quickly as 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime*. 

All four of the actors have been personally affected by cancer; Thomas and Andrew both lost their mums, Hannah lost both her parents and Stephen’s ‘nana’ and cousin died from cancer.

Thomas Turgoose, who plays Shaun Field in the award-winning TV series and film, said: “It felt good to actually be able to take out my rage and anger on cancer. My mum died from cancer after I finished filming This Is England and the rest of the cast became family. It felt right that I got to kick the shit out of cancer alongside the guys who supported me during my darkest days.”

Stephen Graham, who plays Combo, said: “Cancer has taken too many people from me, my family and my friends. Today, it finally felt that we could take some revenge. But we need to do so much more. Cancer won’t stop terrorising us until research beats it. And for that we need more money to fund it. So I hope people who see this film will be inspired to Stand Up To Cancer and make the most of the greatest weapon we have – our scientists and researchers. Together we can do some serious damage.”

Hannah Walters, who plays Trudy, said: “When you’re faced with an enemy you hate, it’s amazing how powerful and strong you can become. I want to destroy cancer for everyone it’s hurt and every life it’s taken. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where cancer is something to be afraid of and that’s why we need to act now and fund the amazing research that will save lives. If my dad was diagnosed today, the treatments are so much more advanced now that he would have survived. That needs to be the case for all cancers, but we need money to get there.”
Andrew Shim, who plays Milky, said: “I think a lot of people feel powerless against cancer, like it’s too big to fight and too big to beat. But if we work together then we can destroy it.  Today I felt like I actually made my mark and turned cancer into rubble beneath my feet, and I want everyone to know that they can feel like that too if they get involved and Stand Up To Cancer. I lost my mum to cancer when I was five, and I don’t want other people to have to go through that. Together, we can destroy cancer, but we need everyone to get involved and Stand Up To Cancer.”

The launch of the film coincides with a social media campaign encouraging the nation to smash cancer. Celebrities, companies and the public are being encouraged to share videos of themselves destroying objects that show the word cancer alongside #StandUpToCancer, ahead of the live-show on Channel 4 on Friday 21 October.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. Launched in the UK in 2012, more than £25 million has been raised in the UK, supporting more than 30 clinical trials and projects.

Twitter has also donated a twitter emoji to support Stand Up To Cancer, which appears every time #StandUpToCancer is used. To join the rebellion against cancer, go to: or follow us on Facebook:  and Twitter:

*1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960