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Stars raise megabucks for Stand Up To Cancer

Published 22/10/2016

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck

Steve Coogan paid a touching tribute to his friend and late comedian Caroline Aherne during the live fundraising telethon.

Ben Affleck, John Legend and Steve Coogan were among the stars who appeared on the live fundraising telethon Stand Up To Cancer.

The show, hosted by Davina McCall, comedian Alan Carr and Australian funnyman Adam Hills, managed to raise a huge £15.7 million ($18.3 million) on Friday (21Oct16), and had help from a variety of famous faces.

The seven-hour long telethon featured comedy sketches alongside heartbreaking clips of people who’ve batted with or lost loved ones to cancer.

During the broadcast, actor and comedian Coogan paid tribute to his friend and fellow comedian Caroline Aherne, who died of lung cancer at the age of 52 earlier this year (16).

"Thirty years ago, when I started out in comedy, I met a girl who worked as a secretary for the BBC," he said of the creator and star of The Mrs Merton Show and The Royle Family.

"She mercilessly took the p**s and she made me and our small gang of Manchester friends laugh until they cried. Her name was Caroline Aherne.

Coogan recalled, "In the last days of her life, she had a piece of paper stuck on the notice board in her kitchen quoting W. H. Auden. It said: 'Among those I like or admire, I can find no common denominator. But among those who I love, I can. All of them make me laugh'. She was living proof that laughter will always be the best medicine."

The celebrity version of hit British TV show Gogglebox, which Aherne narrated before her cancer diagnosis, starred One Direction's Niall Horan with singer Olly Murs, Coogan alongside actress Anna Friel, and England footballers Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

John Legend proved he was up for anything after playing his new single Love Me Now on The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills’ bottom after they hit a fundraising target during the special edition of the comedy panel show.

The Hangover star Ed Helms also rallied together his celebrity friends in a spoof video for Stand Up To Cancer, where he pitched the idea of a cancer-fighting movie to a variety of Hollywood stars.

Ben Affleck, Eva Longoria, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart and Lena Dunham were all approached by Helms to star in the movie, but unfortunately things didn't go quite as planned.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, and has so far raised over £25 million ($30.5 million) to fund clinical trials across the U.K.

© Cover Media

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