Channel 4 has greenlit a new documentary from Outline Wales and Sarah Beeny’s production company Knockers Group, which follows the property expert and TV presenter and her family as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.
Sarah Beeny was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, one of the 55,200 people who receive the same news every year.
On the surface it came as a shocking bolt from the blue. But deep down, it was something that she had been expecting for 40 years. As a ten-year-old girl, Sarah experienced the heart-breaking loss of her mother after her own breast cancer spread to her brain. Her mother’s story and Sarah’s own experience then and now forms the basis for this documentary, which follows her course of treatment and its effects, not just from her perspective but also from the viewpoints of husband Graham and their four sons, Billy (18), Charlie (16), Raffey (14) and Laurie (13).
Alongside her personal journey, Sarah Beeny: Breast Cancer, My Family and Me (1×60’, w/t) allows Sarah to try to answer some of the important questions and issues a breast cancer diagnosis has thrown up for her – such as how far treatment has come in the last 40 years, and whether her mother might have survived if she had had the same treatment as Sarah is having today.
The documentary is being made in support of Stand Up To Cancer, a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which over the last 10 years has raised more than £93 million in the UK, funding 64 clinical trials and projects involving more than 13,000 cancer patients. In the documentary, Sarah will meet teams at Cancer Research UK who are at the cutting edge of research, to find out what the future holds for breast cancer patients.
Sarah Beeny says: “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer there was a moment where I considered not telling anyone in the world including my husband and children. Three minutes later I realised that wasn’t going to be possible and I was overwhelmed by the response I received – which highlighted that I was not alone in having long held a disproportionate fear of breast cancer. So I decided to make this documentary about how far treatment has come in the last 40 years but also about how it still affects you and those around you both mentally and physically. Ultimately, I want to take some of the fear out of the words ‘you have breast cancer’ and encourage people to seek help as early as possible, giving them the best chance of diagnosis and overcoming the disease.”
Laura Mansfield, Managing Director, Outline Productions says: “Sarah strongly believes we shouldn’t be as afraid of cancer as we are. She wants to share that message by letting viewers see how she and her family deal with her experience, which she’s approaching with the same no-nonsense, pragmatic and positive approach Sarah has brought to every aspect of her life. Sarah Beeny: Breast Cancer, My Family and Me (w/t) will be informative and straight talking but also full of fun and laughter with her family.”
Kate Thomas says: “Sarah is part of our Channel 4 family, and we are awestruck at her determination to share her experience, speak openly and to help inform others who may be facing a similar diagnosis.”
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: “We were very sorry to hear about Sarah’s diagnosis of breast cancer and are honoured to be part of her documentary.
“Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled since the 1970s, but it is still most common cancer in the UK with 1 in 7 women being diagnosed in their lifetime. Through this personal documentary, Sarah will raise vital awareness of breast cancer, the importance of early diagnosis and the progress in treatment thanks to research.
“It’s important to remember that everybody’s breasts are different and what’s normal for one person might not be normal for someone else. This is why it’s so important to tell the doctor about anything that’s unusual for you. In most cases it won’t be cancer, but if it is, finding it early can make a real difference.”
Sarah Beeny: My Family, Breast Cancer and Me (1×60’, w/t) is an Outline Wales and Knockers Group co-production for Channel 4. It is produced and directed by Jonney Steven, and the executive producers are Laura Mansfield and Helen Veale for Outline Wales and Sarah Beeny for Knockers Group. It has been commissioned by Kate Thomas, Commissioning Editor, Daytime and Features.
Alongside the new documentary, Outline Wales and Knockers Group are also in production on the third season of Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country (7×60’, which will air in the new year, and new off-peak series Sarah Beeny’s New Country Lives (20×60’), both for Channel 4.
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