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BBC DJ's testicular check-up live on air in attempt to tackle male cancer taboo

By Stephanie Bell

Published 14/04/2015

Vinny Hurrell and Dr Patrick Keane in the BBC’s radio studio in Belfast
Vinny Hurrell and Dr Patrick Keane in the BBC’s radio studio in Belfast

A local radio DJ has attempted to shatter a massive male cancer taboo by bravely agreeing to have his testicles examined on air.

Vinny Hurrell did not spare his own blushes to do in public what most men feel uncomfortable doing in private, when he put himself forward for the examination and allowed it to be recorded for his Radio Ulster magazine show.

Listeners to the new weekly Monday night show heard Dr Patrick Keane, a leading urologist in Northern Ireland and Randox Health Specialist, talk through what he was doing as he examined the radio presenter in Belfast City Hospital yesterday.

Dr Keane, who helped set up the local charity Men Against Cancer, also appeared live on The Vinny Show at 10.15pm to tell listeners why physical examination is the key to detection and discussed the symptoms, treatments and survival rates of the disease.

Vinny, whose new show was launched just a month ago, said: "When I was taking my trousers off to get examined I did feel embarrassed, but because I was doing it for work that helped.

"The entire examination takes about 10 seconds and is something every man should be doing once a month, especially young men. Men are really bad when it comes to their health and for some reason get really embarrassed talking about stuff like that.

"The survival rates for testicular cancer if caught early are really high and it can affect a lot of younger people as well, which is why I felt it was important to highlight it.

"Men to an extent are always rooting around in there at some point, so hopefully they might now know what to look for and what is normal as well as what is abnormal."

The 32-year-old from Randalstown is best known as Stephen Nolan's long-suffering sidekick in his role as producer of the weekday morning show Nolan.

A month ago he branched out on his own with the launch of his own magazine show on Monday nights.

The Vinny Show has quickly become established as a lively, late-night programme looking at real-life problems, from mental health to emigration, dating and everything in between.

"Hosting his own show has come naturally to the radio veteran, who is delighted with how popular it has proven in its first weeks.

He said: "It's going OK so far and I'm happy enough.

"I'm really enjoying it and each week is a bit different as we are talking to real people about real experiences.

"We've heard some amazing stories and when you are complaining about things from day to day, it makes you think about what other people have to deal with."

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