YORK'S legendary pantomime dame is giving his backing to the city's very own prostate cancer fun run.
Berwick Kaler is the latest celebrity to show support for R U Taking the P? Sir Michael Parkinson and Yorkshire comedian Billy Pearce are already urging men to sign up, but unfortunately are not able to attend on the day.
“We are absolutely delighted that Berwick will be with us on the day showing his support for York’s very own prostate cancer event,” said Brian Hughes, founder and one of the organisers of the men-only 5K fun run which takes place annually on Father’s Day from Rowntree Park.
“It is rather fitting that Berwick is taking part in R U Taking the P?, as many years ago he let me borrow one of his bizarre frocks to run the London Marathon. Berwick subsequently presented me with a golden wagon wheel at the Theatre Royal during one of his performances.”
Berwick didn’t remember this but added: “that was the closest I’ve ever been to a marathon”. As yet he is undecided whether he will be allowed to participate in a men-only fun run because of the fact he is a woman.
Berwick said: “It gives me great pleasure to support Brian in his outstanding efforts to raise money for this vitally important cause and the fight to enlighten men not to be embarrassed to have their prostate checked – it could save lives.
"However, I did point out to the organisers that I am a woman, and after the laughter subsided they suggested I seek a second opinion. So, I’m off to see Dr McGregor, who is an expert veterinary surgeon, to put an end to these rumours once and for all!
"Whether I turn up for the fun run as a man or a woman depends entirely on the expertise of one doctor – you’ll just have to come along and join us in the fun run to find out the result.
"Either way we need your support and one way to do it is for our local men to come to their senses and sign up for R U Taking the P?”
You can do it now by visiting www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/running
In the last five years R U Taking the P? has raised more than £46,000 under the umbrella of Yorkshire Cancer Research and made a difference to the lives of thousands of men.
The important fact is that all the money stays in the City to further the vital research of Professor Norman Maitland at the University of York.
Brian Hughes founded R U Taking the P? in 2010 after a good friend had died with prostate cancer and another had to undergo a prostatectomy only weeks after losing his wife to cancer at Christmas. The event always takes place on Father’s Day, which this year is Sunday, 15 June at 9.30am.
“The camaraderie at R U Taking the P? is always brilliant and you don’t have to run; you can walk or crawl if you have to,” stressed Brian.
“It’s not about running but about taking part and making a difference. This year we have introduced a special rate for fathers and sons (boys must be aged 11 years or older) and once again The Slip Inn will be selling our special R U Taking the P? beer afterwards.
Berwick is currently trying to persuade his lazy good for nothing son - played by Martin Barrass - to join in on the day. Martin said: “I may turn up just out of curiosity – to find out if me mother is a man or a woman!”