Created 8th September 2004

Praise for Emmerdale Over Colon Cancer Storyline




Viewers of ITV1’s Emmerdale have flooded Colon Cancer Concern’s (CCC) telephone Infoline with requests for more information about bowel cancer following the revelation last week that Woolpack landlady Diane Blackstock has the disease. CCC is the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity.

CCC’s confidential telephone information service, which is run by experienced colorectal nurses, received over 100 calls in two-and-a-half hours when the storyline was first broadcast on 19th August: more than ten times the usual figure for that time period.

The CCC Infoline number, email address and website have all been featured during the credits of the prime-time soap, so that worried viewers can contact an experienced nurse with their concerns. Callers, who are of all ages and from across the country, are each answered by a member of the CCC specialist nurse team – with many expressing personal concerns or requesting a CCC information pack in the post.

One typical caller from Edinburgh praised CCC’s Infoline service, saying: “My father has suspected bowel cancer and I didn't know where to turn. But then I saw your contact details following Emmerdale. It’s great to have someone to talk to."

Since the first broadcast, the charity has received over 600 calls and emails (already twice the number of inquiries it would normally receive a month) - a figure that is set to rise as the story continues over the coming weeks. Emmerdale has over 10 million viewers in the UK and the programme is aired six nights a week in the primetime early evening slot. CCC had extended its Infoline service to deal with the surge in demand.

The makers of Emmerdale have been working closely with CCC’s nurses and patients to make sure that the script is as accurate, realistic and sensitively handled as possible: a first for primetime TV in the UK and an approach that has been warmly welcomed by the charity.

Jola Gore-Booth, CCC’s Chief Executive, says: “We are delighted that Emmerdale has decided to work with CCC to tackle the taboo subject of bowel cancer, and do so in such a responsible and high profile way.

“The fact that our Infoline has received a massive 1,000 per-cent increase in calls since the programme came on air, shows just how much demand there is for information about this misunderstood and neglected disease: demand that is set to continue as Diane’s story unfolds.

THE CCC INFOLINE: 08708 50 60 50

Based on a Press Release by "CCC" Dated: 1 September 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