The insight

Men’s hesitance to discuss their cancer journey often leads to late diagnoses and mental health challenges. Despite a higher incidence rate compared to women, men are significantly underrepresented in accessing support services offered by organisations like Macmillan

Addressing this stigma and encouraging men to talk openly about their health concerns is vital for early detection and improved wellbeing.

The approach

Recognising that men are less inclined to engage with content discussing personal struggles with cancer, a strategic partnership was formed with TalkSPORT, a widely trusted platform among sports enthusiasts. Through this collaboration, a series of intimate and honest discussions, termed “Team Talks,” were initiated.

Sporting icons, including Jimmy White and Sol Bamba, shared their own experiences with cancer in a candid and relatable manner. By embedding these discussions into unexpected live broadcasts, such as the White and Jordan mid-morning show, the initiative aimed to capture men’s attention in an authentic and non-intrusive way.


  • Over 25,000 more men accessed Macmillan support services, exceeding the target by 78%.
  • The TalkSPORT interviews garnered exceptional engagement, with one listener bravely sharing his own cancer story live on air.
  • Access to Macmillan support services saw a notable increase, with a 44% rise in men contacting the call centre. Additionally, the percentage of men utilising support line services increased from 31% to 38%, indicating a significant impact on help-seeking behaviour among men.