Sara Wallis: The All New Monty delivers full frontal fun with powerful message

There aren’t many shows where you can see a tennis legend in a kiss me quick hat and a comedian traumatised by an intimate wax.

Not mainstream ones anyway.

The All New Monty on ITV gave us two brilliant shows – the men’s Who Bares Wins, followed by Ladies’ Night, to raise awareness of male and female cancers.

Not only were they both ­entertaining but the #keepchecking message hit home.

But first thing’s first – is Ashley Banjo the nicest man in show business? Politely stealing the title from Dermot O’Leary?

Ashley no stranger to getting his kit off.

He has bared all with co-conspirator Alexander Armstrong, recruiting men who have the balls to wear nothing but tiny pants in public… then whip them off.

Ashley also ­choreographed the ladies’ routine, making them feel totally at ease as they opened up about their experiences of cancer and prepared to striptease.

Compassion to rival his back flips.

The men’s show saw Love Island’s Jack Fincham, Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher, comic Joe Pasquale, snooker legend Willie Thorne, Crimewatch’s Rav Wilding, Dancing on Ice’s Matt Evers and Chelsea hero Jason Cundy in the spotlight.

“I’m doing this because I’ve had ­testicular cancer and survived,” said Jason.

Willie revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer after seeing the first Full Monty show in 2017 and getting checked.

The fellas rehearsed their routine in front of a frenzied Magic Mike crowd, toughed it out through some waxing, and weren’t afraid to show their emotions.

On Ladies’ Night, billed the show “with the most front” Coleen Noleen proposed a toast to “becoming the breast of friends”.

It was total girl power as she and Victoria Derbyshire joined Martina Navratilova, EastEnders star Laurie Brett, Love Island’s Megan Barton-Hanson, So Solid Crew’s Lisa Maffia, Towie’s Danielle Armstrong and Benidorm’s Crissy Rock.

Each had a personal reason for taking part and the tears flowed as I heard about Danielle’s friend Sammy, who died at 29 from breast cancer.

Lisa’s mum is fighting cervical cancer while Laurie’s mum ­battled breast cancer twice.

Crissy told of her devastating experience of vulva cancer, Martina spoke about her breast cancer.

There was banter too as they tried on hats and thigh-high boots, had a pyjama party with fake tanning session and pulled off a storming performance in Blackpool before the big night at Alexandra Palace.

I can see these shows becoming an ­annual event for years to come. Full frontal fun with a powerful message.

Battles and emotions laid bare.

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