Stars including Coleen Nolan and breast cancer survivor Victoria Derbyshire have been hailed “warrior women” for baring all for breast cancer awareness.
Eight women took part in The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night, stripping off in front of a live audience.
Those chosen have all been affected by cancer.
They were seen on the ITV show dancing to This Is Me from The Greatest Showman in a routine choreographed by Diversity’s Ashley Banjo.
The group included cancer survivor Ruth Madoc, the actress, and singer and presenter Michelle Heaton, who had a double mastectomy after learning she has the BRCA2 gene.
‘Out of comfort zone’
Actress Helen Lederer also took part, along with DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford, Emmerdale’s Sally Dexter and Towie’s Megan McKenna.
They were assembled by Loose Women’s Nolan, whose sister Bernie died of breast cancer in 2013. Another sister, Linda, is now battling the condition.
“I’m here and one of my sisters isn’t – and one of them is going through hell again,” she said. “I’m doing it for them.”
Derbyshire was initially uncertain about taking part, breaking down on the first day of rehearsals saying: “This is so out of my comfort zone. God, this is day one, what the heck.
“I haven’t cried for ages about having cancer, or my body or whatever.”
It was also an emotional experience for Heaton, who talked about her reconstructed breasts, saying she felt “disconnected” from them.
They also took part in a Calendar Girls-inspired photoshoot, with food items covering their bare breasts, to increase their confidence.
On the big night, the women took to the stage in Sheffield in bronze sequinned wrap dresses – halfway through, they pulled off the dresses to show tasselled black lingerie, which they accessorised with red feather fans.
Turning away from the crowds, they removed their bras and covered themselves with the feathers, before then facing the audience – and removing the feathers. The final shot was filmed from behind.
It proved emotional for all of the women, with Derbyshire and Nolan sharing a hug as the performance drew to a close.
Derbyshire said the programme, which followed a male version of the show featuring the likes of James Argent and John Partridge, had made her “really happy”.
“There might be someone watching who learns something about breast cancer that they didn’t know before and it might save their life and that is massive,” she added.
Heaton said she felt “overwhelmed” after the experience, adding on Twitter: “#TheRealFullMontyladies has been the best thing I’ve ever done to help overcome my fears and raise #BreastCancerAwareness.”
There was praise and admiration from the audience after the show aired on ITV1 on Thursday night.
Viewer Vikki Longman said it made her feel “empowered”.
Singer Sam Bailey said she was proud of all those who took part.
Presenter Sue Perkins said the programme was “joyful” and “empowering”, while Anna Richardson described the stars as “warrior women”.
Derbyshire later thanked people for their support – including one woman who said the programme made her check her breasts.