December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 2, 2013
Veteran variety performer Terry Chappelle is inviting audiences to step back in time to the grand old days of music hall and help raise cash for sufferers of the most common cancer to affect UK men.
Mr Chappelle, who celebrates his 80th birthday in a few weeks, first appeared on stage at the age of 18.
He went on to combine a career as a display manager for Norwich department stores Bonds and Debenhams with 60-plus years of professional and amateur performing. He developed an array of characters based on pre-war variety stars ranging from Gracie Fields to Phyllis Dixey and appeared at venues ranging from south coast holiday camps to Sheringham Little Theatre.
He has put together Deja Revue, a show at Sheringham St Andrew’s Church hall on Saturday September 7. It features music and comedy harking back to the 1920s and thirties, with proceeds going to the Norfolk and Waveney Prostate Cancer Support Group.
The charity is a cause close to Mr Chappelle’s heart, as he was diagnosed with the disease after his GP suggested a blood test during a routine visit in 2010.
“When your doctor sits you down and tells you you’ve got cancer, it is shattering and you think you’ve got to start getting your life in order,” he said.
“But I think the main thing is to stay positive and although, with prostate cancer, a lot of men feel their masculinity is at risk, that doesn’t have to be the case.”
Mr Chappelle, who was diagnosed with the more virulent form of prostate cancer, had radiotherapy for nearly two months, spending five days a week travelling by bus to the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital for treatment.
“It was a bit of a hike and I think I knew every bit of washing on every line from Sheringham to Norwich, but I had tremendous support from friends and medical staff and you have to ask yourself, what is the alternative?” he said.
Although he still has regular hormone injections and check-ups, Mr Chappelle’s latest test showed he is cancer-free, but he is keen to raise awareness of the disease.
“I think of it as the silent one,” he said. “Unlike some cancers, there can be no symptoms at all so I would urge men over 50 to find out about the risks as it is not just them, but their partners and families it affects.”
The show proceeds will help the local support group, which meets on alternate months at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston.
Tickets for the 7.30pm Deja Revue show are £6 on the door.
Prostate cancer, which is diagnosed in 100 men every day, mainly affects those aged 50 and over. Symptoms of prostate problems include needing to urinate often, difficulty starting or straining to urinate and pain when urinating or during sex. For more information and for a list of support groups, visit www.prostatesupport.org.uk