YORKSHIRE comedian Billy Pearce has urged men to sign up to the York 5km run in aid of prostate cancer research.

Mr Pearce is the latest celebrity to back the R U Taking the P? event due to take place in Rowntree Park on Father’s Day on Sunday, June 15. Last month Sir Michael Parkinson, 78, gave his support.

The run this year aims to attract more than 500 runners to raise money for University of York’s Cancer Research Unit, which is headed by internationally-renowned scientist Professor Norman Maitland.

It has so far raised more than £46,000 for research into the disease.

Mr Pearce said: “Sadly I can’t be with you on the day because I am in Liverpool, but I am very happy to support you in any way I can.”

He also reiterated the words of Sir Michael, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer, when he urged men to take part in such a “fantastic Yorkshire event” and also to get checked by the doctor for an early diagnosis, which is crucial to the prognosis of the disease.

“Be aware of any changes and get to the doctor’s if you notice anything different,” Mr Pearce said.

“Us men are hopeless at going to the doctor’s, but remember you owe it to the people that love you to get checked out."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, accounting for one in four male cases. More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 10,000 men die annually from the disease, including 27 on Father’s Day each year.

Organiser Brian Hughes said: “I am delighted that Billy Pearce is backing our cause and urging men to sign up."

R U Taking the P? is on Sunday, June 15. This year sees the launch of a special father and son discount entry package.

For more information visit yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/rutakingthep