Love Island’s Shaughna Phillips opens up about father’s cancer diagnosis

PA

Former Love Island contestant Shaughna Phillips has said her father’s cancer diagnosis “completely changed” her life.

The reality TV star, who appeared on the ITV show earlier this year, is taking part in The Real Full Monty On Ice after losing her father to the disease in December 2016.

Former Woman’s Hour presenter Dame Jenni Murray, actress and model Linda Lusardi, soap star Jamie Lomas and fellow Love Islander Chris Hughes are also taking part.

The programme will see the participants strip off and perform an ice skating routine in an effort to increase awareness about cancers which affect intimate areas of the body.

Phillips said she felt isolated from her friends during her father’s illness.

She said: “I lost my dad in December 2016. He had cancer for 18 months and it completely changed my life and my perspective of what I thought was important.

“When my dad was ill, I felt like no-one had any idea what I was going through, even my close friends.

“So, if anyone watching this is going through what I’ve been through losing him and can then feel like they’re not alone, I’d be so happy to be able to do that.”

Explaining her reasons for joining the show, she said: “I’ve been watching the series since it’s been on telly and it’s one of those programmes that you know is going to get you but you can’t not watch it.

“It’s got everything – it’s funny but also terribly important. Now more so than ever.

“What I wanted to do when I came out of Love Island was to use that platform and that opportunity to try and make a difference.

She added: “Cancer has affected me personally so this was the perfect show for me to raise awareness.

“All we speak about at the moment is (coronavirus) but cancer hasn’t stopped – even though lots of screenings have, which is so sad.

“The amount of people that could lose their lives now because (coronavirus) has stopped them going to the doctor or getting an early cancer diagnosis is horrendous.

“Anything that I can do to try and change that I would do every single day if I could.”

Professional skaters from Dancing On Ice will also join the celebrities to perform in the programme, which is being presented by Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan.

The programme will air on Monday December 14 and Tuesday December 15 at 9pm.

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