Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Moving drama The C Word can be lasting legacy of a remarkable woman

Post Thumbnail

Tomorrow night sees the screening of a very special true life drama about a young woman’s battle with cancer.

It is a disease that touches all of us and there cannot be a single person who hasn’t been touched by cancer, whether they have gone through it themselves, known a friend or family member who has died, or a loved one who has been successfully treated.

The C Word is based on the story of magazine editor Lisa Lynch who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. She decided to share her story with a blog and a book. Sadly she died in 2013 aged just 33, but not before being told that a drama was being made about her life.

Lisa had very firm ideas about who she wanted to portray her in the TV adaptation and she approached actress Sheridan Smith directly about taking on the role.

At first Sheridan, one of the finest actresses of her generation, wasn’t sure about accepting the part as she thought she wasn’t up to it. But in the end she knew she had to do it. She has since said she was extremely proud to have been asked personally by Lisa.

It was a difficult shoot for all of the cast.

I spoke to Haydn Gwynne who plays Lisa’s mum Jane, and she said it brought back the sense of loss in her own family when her dad died and that there were lots of tears shed on set. Sheridan was also reminded of the death of her brother from cancer.

It can’t have been easy for any of them, and of course there was the pressure of making sure they did Lisa proud, which I think they all achieved.

This drama has “BAFTA award winning” written all over it, but it’s more than just a TV programme. It will inevitably make people more aware of cancer and get families talking about the illness. Women will check their breasts and be more conscious of any changes in their bodies. It will also help to raise funds for cancer charities.

This was what the brave and funny Lisa wanted to happen. She approached her cancer with courage, wit and warmth.

Her book is extremely poignant but also laugh out loud funny. Anyone who has gone through cancer will relate to it, but those who want to find out more about the disease should buy a copy.

I remember when I first started out presenting on TVam back in the ’80s, the world cancer was never uttered on television. It would have been unimaginable to have a breast cancer awareness month or the fantastic MoonWalks.

It has, thankfully, all changed and there’s more honesty and compassion from the medical profession as well as patients having more say about their treatment and a lot more knowledge about the disease.

It’s all down to people like Lisa that we are slowly winning the fight.

People with cancer who are diagnosed early enough have a far better chance of being given the all clear or at the very least enjoying more precious years with the people they love.

She really was a remarkable young woman.

The C Word is on BBC1 at 8.30pm tonight. The book of the same name by Lisa Lynch is published by Arrow.