Legendary broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has unveiled a park bench in his beloved Manchester – one that’s unlike any other.
In a twist to the conventional ‘in memoriam’ benches, which are a familiar site in beauty spots across the country, Mark’s bench attests to his recovery from cancer.
The bench is a salute to the scientists, doctors and nurses who are making progress in tackling the disease, and its inscription wryly reads: “Mark Radcliffe loved sitting here… and still does thanks to advances in cancer research.”
The bench was unveiled to launch the ‘Re-Write Cancer’ campaign.
The initiative is a £20m joint fundraising appeal from Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charitable Fund and The University of Manchester.
It aims to help meet the cost of a new £150m cancer research facility.
The facility – due to open in 2022 – will be twice the size of the former Paterson building which was damaged by fire in 2017.
Although much of the facility’s research work was salvaged by firefighters, more than 300 scientists and support staff were displaced and are temporarily relocated at Alderley Park, just outside Alderley Edge.
Mark commented: “It’s an absolute honour to be involved in the Re-Write Cancer campaign.
“I loved my years studying at The University of Manchester, so it’s the perfect site for the bench.”
He added: “Facing a cancer diagnosis was extremely tough – it completely turned my life upside down and made me re-evaluate what really matters to me.
“But thousands of people are in the same boat every year and I was fortunate to receive excellent care at The Christie.”
Radcliffe, who now lives in Knutsford, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
The 61-year-old had a cancerous tumour removed from his tongue. The cancer had also spread to lymph nodes in his neck.
Following his successful treatment, he returned to the airwaves in February of this year – much to the delight of his faithful following.
Mark concluded: “Research into cancer is the key to changing lives now and in the future. Without it I simply wouldn’t be standing – or sitting – here today.”