Martin Roberts celebrates finishing The Real Full Monty
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Former EastEnders star Laila Morse has candidly opened up on her battle with cancer after she was diagnoses with breast cancer back in 2005. This year, to raise awareness, she is taking part in Strictly the Real Full Monty. The one-off event involves an array of famous faces who have been personally affected by cancer.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk and other press, Laila opened up on having cancer and the battles her family are currently experiencing.
Laila began: "I've had cancer, I had it, I had the operation, I had the lymph nodes taken out and, touch wood, I'm still here.
"It was only because of my friend making me go because I wasn't going to bother, I found this lump, and I thought 'Nah, I'll be alright'.
"She said, 'You better go because I'm gonna find out’, so I went and I said, 'What's that?' and he [the doctor] said, 'You're going up to Guys.’
Laila Morse spoke out on her cancer diagnosis (Image: BBC/ITV)
She also spoke about her struggles with her sisters diagnosis who lives in France (Image: ITV)
"So, I went up there, had the thing [operation], and he said, 'Yeah come back in a few weeks,’ and it was all done and dusted in a fortnight," she revealed.
"I didn't have chemo, I had the radiotherapy, but yeah, it could have gone the other way, that's why I didn't feel anything about taking my clothes off.
"I said, ‘If I don't do it, if I was dead, I wouldn't be here today doing it,’" Laila said with positivity.
She went on to speak about her sister, who was diagnosed with cancer and how she wasn't able to support her due to her living in France.
Laila took part in ITV’s I’m A Celeb but revealed learning the dance was harder (Image: ITV)
Laila is known for playing Big Mo on BBC soap EastEnders (Image: GETTY)
Laila commented: "My sister then got it, and she lived in France, and it was just before the second lockdown, and she said to me, 'I think I'm going to go and have a mammogram.’
"I went, 'What for? You’re 72, you don't have to, do you think you've got anything?' and she went, 'No, I'm just going to go and have a check-up.’
"Anyway, she had it done, went back to France and they phoned her and told her to go to the nearest hospital as she had an aggravated cancer.
"She had to pay for her operation, and then she was there on her own with no one there because we couldn't get out there, but touch wood, she's alright now.
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"She's had radiotherapy as well, now she's having that injection for six months, thank god I didn't have to have it because I don't like needles!" she revealed.
This year the Full Monty performance stars Laila, Martin Roberts, Christine McGuinness, Colin Jackson, Brenda Edwards, Duncan James, Demi Jones, Teddy Soares, Ola Jordan, James Jordan, Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan.
When asked whether the group had formed a support bubble for one another, Laila remarked: "It's like going to work, and this is the nicest crowd I think I have ever known."
Fellow stars Martin and Christine revealed Laila was the first one to strip on the first day.
"Mo has had no problem with the strip part," Christine said to which Martin added: "She did actually take her clothes off on the first day."
Laughing at their shock, Laila replied: "I did, and I never even knew them! Having cancer gave me a new outlook on life, and why bother being embarrassed when we're all here for the same thing."
Strictly the Real Full Monty is led by Diversity member Ashley Banjo and is taking the famous Full Monty strip to a whole new level.
The first of two episodes of the show is set to air on Monday, December 13, with the second episode airing the following day on Tuesday, December 14.
Strictly The Real Full Monty airs December 13 on ITV at 9pm.
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