Elliott Wright set for Prostate Cancer UK challenge in his late father’s honour

The TV personality said his father Eddie was a big supporter of the charity.
The TV personality said his father Eddie was a big supporter of the charity.

Elliott Wright said participating in Run the Month Marathon Edition for Prostate Cancer UK is “very personal” to him after his late father was diagnosed with the disease.

The reality TV star, who appeared in The Only Way Is Essex alongside his cousin Mark Wright, will be running 26.2 miles across January sporting the charity’s blue and black colours to raise awareness and money.

Wright, who also completed the challenge last year, said his dad Edward, affectionately known as Eddie, was a big supporter of the charity.

Speaking about his connection to the cause, Wright told the PA news agency: “My grandfather had prostate cancer quite a few years ago now and he had his prostate cut out.

“Unfortunately, my dad got it in 2013 and he didn’t deal with it quick enough and it spread, became terminal, and we lost him last year due to Covid-19.

“But, fundamentally, because of the drugs that he was on his immune system was low.

“So it’s a very personal cause for me. My dad was always a very keen person to try and raise awareness for prostate cancer so that’s why I’m trying to continue it in his honour, to a degree.”

Wright, who ran over 100 miles last year, surpassing the 26.2 mile target, said he wants more people to get their prostates checked.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the UK, the charity says, though survival rates have improved – “probably” because of routine screening.

Elliott Wright
Elliott Wright sporting his Prostate Cancer UK T-shirt (Prostate Cancer UK/PA)

Wright said: “It’s more about raising awareness. That’s what my dad wanted to do. It’s nice to raise money if you can raise money but the most important thing is awareness because most men don’t bother to get checked.

“‘I don’t need to go to the doctors,’ I’ve heard that so many times, even from people in my own family, and you sit there and think, ‘Just go and get yourself checked.’

“There’s so many people that don’t check and then find out in the worst way. If you can run 26.2 miles and manage to save one life or get somebody to check themselves a lot sooner, then you’ve done a great job. That’s how I see it.”

Wright was among the original line-up in 2017 baring all in ITV’s The Real Full Monty, which saw celebrities perform a striptease to raise awareness of cancer checks.

Describing the experience as “eye-opening”, Wright added: “I had a guy come into my restaurant in Spain and literally we saved his life because he only bothered to get checked for prostate after watching The Real Full Monty and he ended up having emergency surgery.

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 – London
Elliott Wright with the cast of ITV’s The Real Full Monty (PA)

“He said, ‘If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be here today.’ That was very emotional for me because he came in the restaurant and he had his wife and kids there.

“At the time of taking your clothes off you’re highly embarrassed, but when you actually see the effects that that had… it’s a great thing.”

Wright said the challenge is “achievable for everybody”.

He said: “It’s not intensive. You haven’t got to do 26 miles in one day, you can do it over 31 days. So everybody can actually get involved, even if it means walking three or four kilometres a day.

“The nice thing about it is I can do it with my wife, who’s pregnant. So she can run or walk three kilometres with me. She’s more than capable of doing it.”

Mums List Premiere – London
Wright and his wife Sadie (PA)

Last year, Wright said his wife Sadie miscarried at five months.

Run the Month has raised more than £5.2 million since October 2020. This year, the squad includes Emmerdale’s Matthew Wolfenden, Love Islander Arabella Chi and Channel 5 presenter Rob Bell.

Nicola Tallett, director of fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “The fight against prostate cancer is a marathon not a sprint. Since 2020 our wonderful supporters have raised substantial funds by taking on our virtual running challenge – and 2023 is shaping up to be bigger and better.

“By running 26.2 miles – or more – in January our supporters won’t just be keeping fit after the rigours of the festive season, they will also be raising crucial funds in the fight against the most common cancer in men.

“From stars of stage and screen to novice and seasoned runners, taking part with mates or your pet pooch, starting the day or finishing under the stars, every challenge plays a fantastic role in bringing people together for a common cause.”

Information to sign up for Run the Month: Marathon Edition can be found at runthemonthme.prostatecanceruk.org