BBC One’s Long Live Britain to attempt British record for biggest-ever health screening

As a mum, the health of my family is something I feel is incredibly important and I now want to help other families by raising awareness of these preventable conditions."Julia Bradbury, Presenter
Date: 21.05.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.02
Category: BBC One; Factual
A new BBC One two-part series, Long Live Britain, is setting out to change the nation’s health with a one-off, record-breaking televised event that will challenge the way we tackle three of Britain’s biggest preventable diseases.

On Saturday 25 May, Long Live Britain will attempt to host Britain’s biggest-ever health screening, potentially testing thousands of possible undiagnosed sufferers for the three secret killers that collectively kill 200,000 each year and affect an estimated 11 million people each year – Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease. Presented by Julia Bradbury, Phil Tufnell and Dr Phil Hammond, the fascinating results will be screened on BBC One over one night in early summer.

For one day during the Rugby Football League’s Magic Weekend in Manchester, a BBC One team of presenters, experts and 50 NHS volunteers will aim to screen over 1,000 rugby fans and locals – the most people that have ever been screened in one place. With help from three leading charities (Diabetes UK, HEART UK and the British Liver Trust) and the local NHS, anyone identified as being high-risk from one of Britain’s secret killers will be given advice to help reduce their risk of developing a potentially life-limiting condition.

Presenter Julia Bradbury says: “As a mum, the health of my family is something I feel is incredibly important and I now want to help other families by raising awareness of these preventable conditions. I’ll be meeting members of the public, some of whom are at risk of developing one of these illnesses, and speaking with experts and celebrities to learn more about what we can all do to live more healthily. It's going to be fascinating, revealing and life-changing for some people.”

Presenter Phil Tufnell says: “I am delighted to be involved with Long Live Britain and to hopefully help raise people's awareness of some of Britain’s lesser-known illnesses. We’ll be showing people that, with a little time and attention, they can enjoy a healthier and longer life. I can't wait to get started and get out there and meet people who we can help.”

Long Live Britain has also screened some famous faces to see if any of them are at risk of developing one of these potentially lethal conditions. Three of them - Ricky Grover, Jodie Prenger and Crissy Rock - were so shocked by what they found that they've agreed to find out more about how these conditions are affecting their bodies - and what they can do to turn their lives round before it's too late.

Ricky Grover says: “I’m at that stage in my life where I knew I needed to get a proper health MOT. I knew I need to lose weight and my problem like a lot of people, is that I lack motivation. My big hope was that getting involved with the programme would give me the motivation to change and along the way show people that it is possible to change.”

Jodie Prenger says: “I wanted to take part in the programme because knowledge is power. I was really scared about facing up to my health but with my family’s history of Type 2 Diabetes, I didn’t want to bury my head in the sand anymore. I didn’t want to wait until it was too late and I was backed into a corner without any choices.”

Crissy Rock says: “We all take care of how we look on the outside but before this programme, I’d never given a thought before to what’s going on to the inside of my body. If like me, this programme can make people take notice of their health, then it will be worth all the tears and all the trauma.”

Long Live Britain was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, and Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History.

Long Live Britain will air in two-parts (1x60, 1x50) over one evening in June and will be executive produced by Ben Gale and Ian Holt for Maverick and Cassian Harrison for the BBC.

Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioner for Science and Natural History says: “Long Live Britain is the BBC making a difference to our audiences’ lives. Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cardiovascular disease are three of Britain’s biggest killers - but we can stop them. In partnership with leading charities, this programme will change lives.”

Long Live Britain will be produced by Maverick Television. Ben Gale, Maverick’s Director of Programmes, says: “We are delighted to be working with the NHS, and three leading health charities to raise awareness of these preventable conditions – their support and input has been invaluable in making what should be a truly ground-breaking event.”

Notes to Editors

There are around 850,000 people in the UK who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.

Liver disease has risen 450 per cent in the past 30 years; two million may have the disease but the vast majority do not know, and unless diagnosed early may have their lives severely affected or may die from what is largely a preventable disease.

Despite years of warnings, cardiovascular disease remains one of the UK's biggest killers, responsible for 180,000 deaths every year.