Created 8th September 2004

Emmerdale & Colon Cancer Storyline



All eyes at Colon Cancer Concern (CCC), the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, will be on ITV1’s soap opera Emmerdale over the coming months after one of its leading characters has told the programme’s 10 million viewers that she has the disease.

Colon Cancer Concern

The news that Diane Blackstock, the Woolpack landlady in the programme, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer is a significant milestone for the disease and brings a traditionally taboo subject to its biggest ever audience in the UK.


CCC has been working closely with Emmerdale’s researchers, scriptwriters and producers in preparation for the high profile storyline, who have been very keen to ensure that the issue is handled sensitively and accurately on prime time television.

The charity has called in extra resources to meet the anticipated increase in demand on its nurse-led Infoline service, the phone number of which will appear in the credits at the end of key episodes featuring the bowel cancer storyline.

THE CCC INFOLINE: 08708 50 60 50

The storyline comes as welcome news for CCC, as it helps the charity raise awareness and increase the profile of a disease, which has been ignored and misunderstood for too long, despite being the second biggest cause of cancer death in the UK.

Elizabeth Estenson who plays Diane Blackstock in Emmerdale

Elizabeth Estensen, the actress who plays Diane in Emmerdale says:

"Through my character's bowel cancer storyline, my eyes have been opened to some alarming facts about the disease: that it claims a life every 30 minutes; that one in five people are diagnosed too late because they don't act upon their symptoms; and that it is so treatable when diagnosed early. I hope that the storyline will contribute to raising awareness of a disease that we don't like to talk about - yet must."

Jola Gore-Booth, CCC’s Chief Executive, comments: “We’re delighted that Emmerdale has recognised the importance of bowel cancer and is helping us to tackle the disease through this important storyline.

“We’ve been very encouraged by how much Emmerdale has involved us in ensuring that the storyline is realistic. In this way, the programme will show viewers that ordinary people get bowel cancer; it will help reduce the embarrassment surrounding the disease and bring it to the forefront of people’s minds – and rightly so. Bowel cancer affects some 35,000 people every year and of this number, 16,000 will die.”

Based on a Press Release by "CCC" Dated: 23 August 2004

NOTE: Special Thanks to Claire Jagot at CCC Press Office

For further information on bowel cancer please visit the CCC
website or call the CCC Infoline on 08708 50 60 50