Michelle Keegan may be best known as Tina McIntyre, cast regular on Coronation Street (the world’s longest running TV soap) but she is also an ambassador with the fantastic charity Inspiration Ovarian Cancer North West. Over the last two years the charity has organised two very successful fashion shows with collections from well known designers, celebrity hosts, live music, fabulous prizes and auctions; all in an effort to fund research into ovarian cancer. This year Michelle will be hosting with designers from Boohoo.com, Renee Marion, Ringspun and Rosie Olivia Millinery showing their collections. VIVA chats to her about this important cause.
VIVA: You are an ambassador for Inspiration Ovarian Cancer North West, can you tell us about the charity and your involvement with it?
Michelle: I decided to get involved with the charity because I lost my grandma to ovarian cancer 3 years ago. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her and I want to try and raise money for vital research into prevention and cure.
VIVA: The charity is called Inspiration Ovarian Cancer North West- do you think your personal experience with ovarian cancer helps you to be an inspiration as an ambassador?
Michelle: I do think it helps because inspiration gives you motivation and I am motivated to try and do something about it to channel my energy into trying to help the cause. I don’t have a lot of free time with my job but when I do I enjoy using it constructively and events like these raise awareness.
VIVA: The charity focuses on providing support and information for women, their carers and also their families. Were these things important to you during your experience of the disease with your grandmother?
Michelle: Yes, very much so. It’s a very pro-active charity which is why I agreed to take part in this event. Providing information and raising awareness means that, hopefully ,more women, young and old, will know to have smears regularly and to look after and get to know their bodies. People do survive cancer especially if it is caught early, so Inspiration Ovarian Cancer North West helps with spreading the word.
VIVA: You will be attending the charity’s fashion show in March which is being held at The Monastery in Gorton. What can we expect from this event?
Michelle: Gorton Monastery is an amazing location. There is going to be a fab fashion show which will be hosted by myself and my Coronation street co-star Chris Fountain who plays my boyfriend Tommy. It’s going to be a fun night.
VIVA: Have you managed to get a sneak peek AT the fashion collections being showcased?
Michelle: I have! I did this shoot just before Christmas with some of the designers and the clothes are great, lots of colour and stand out dresses!
VIVA: Currently less than £1 million per year is spent by national ovarian cancer specific charities on research. In contrast the main breast cancer charities invested £17 million on research last year. why do you think this is?
Michelle: Consider that in result of such funding survival rates for breast cancer have improved from 50% to 80% over the last 20 years. Ovarian cancer needs more funding, the statistics for the survival rates of breast cancer speak for themselves. More money needs investing into seeking out preventions, causes and cures. I still think early detection is crucial and hopefully with more events and fundraising opportunities like this there will be an improvement in survival rates in the next few years.
VIVA: One of the charity’s aims is to educate the wider community. do you think events like these will manage to bring more media coverage for the disease?
Michelle: The media can really help with spreading the message and educating people. I hope that by hosting the night it means that more women who know me from Corrie will be inspired to do something and maybe put on a little fundraiser of their own or find out a bit more about the charity.
VIVA: Finally, are you proud to be a famous resident of Manchester when involved with a North West based charity?
Michelle: I love Manchester and I’m proud to say I am a Mancunian. It’s very important to raise awareness for local charities as they often get overlooked for the bigger national ones.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR THE INSPIRATION OVARIAN CANCER NORTH WEST FASHION SHOW 2013. TICKETS ARE £35 WHICH INCLUDES DRINKS AND CANAPES ON ARRIVAL. THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL BE HELD ON THE 2ND MARCH AT GORTON MONASTERY, MANCHESTER.