Together with his partner, Charlotte Riley, actor Tom Hardy, who is a Patron of Bowel Cancer UK, is urging men to ‘Be Brave, Don’t Shave’, by taking part in ‘Decembeard’ and raising funds for Bowel Cancer UK to save lives.

It’s a vital cause.  Every year, over 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 16,000 people die of the disease.  Bowel Cancer UK is determined to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.

Tom Hardy said, “Bowel cancer awareness is too low, so I’m backing Bowel Cancer UK because I want to help change that.  It’s a charity that needs our support to save lives and by taking part in Decembeard, you can make a real difference.”

His partner Charlotte Riley added, “Bowel Cancer UK is an important charity because they are funding vital research and helping people to recognise and talk about symptoms.  Please take part in Decembeard and help Bowel Cancer UK save more lives.”

Tom and Charlotte recently provided fantastic support for Bowel Cancer UK at the BGC Charity Day (11th September). In the clip below Tom and Charlotte were interviewed by Lisa Snowdon about their motivation for backing Bowel Cancer UK, which has just been released by the charity.

Also taking part in the Bowel Cancer UK 2015 Decembeard campaign will be four men who know how devastating bowel cancer can be.

Michael Pattemore, Lynda Bellingham’s husband (now a Patron of Bowel Cancer UK) is one of them.  “Since Lynda’s death, it has been desperately important to me to raise awareness of bowel cancer.   Although spending another Christmas without Lynda will be very tough, I know it will be a special time to remember her and reminisce as a family about the memories we share.”

Andy Sutton is the father of Stephen Sutton MBE, who became known initially through his blog, Stephen’s Story, and went on to raise millions for charity before dying at the age of 19 in May 2014.  His father Andy Sutton, who lives in Cannock, Staffs, and has himself had bowel cancer twice, 20 years apart, will be taking part in Decembeard.

Andy will be joined by Mac Walker, from East Preston, Sussex, whose musician son Jonny died last year at the age of 21 from bowel cancer.

Mac said, “More than 250 people came to Jonny’s funeral and we all miss him dearly. Everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. That’s why I’m supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s Never Too Young campaign, to help GPs refer younger people more quickly for testing.   By taking part in Decembeard, I’d also like to help other young people like Jonny.”

Father of two, Matthew Lynch, 35, from Tunbridge Wells, took part in Decembeard last year, having been just diagnosed with bowel cancer.

He said, “I was admitted for an emergency operation in October last year after suffering from a number of symptoms including regular stomach pains and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for years.”

“It was a shock to be diagnosed with bowel cancer but I received amazing support from my family. There was a wealth of information and backup from a number of charities, including Bowel Cancer UK.  Decembeard was my first fundraising initiative, and I was delighted to raise some money to help Bowel Cancer UK to continue to raise awareness.”

The campaign is being supported by Bowel Cancer UK Patron Ben Richards, the Hollyoaks actor, who survived bowel cancer.  Ben said, “Lads, winter’s cold so why don’t you do your face a favour and give it some warmth this December whilst raising money and awareness for a great cause.  Grow a beard for Decembeard and help Bowel Cancer UK at the same time.”

Tom Hardy - Decembeard image

Taking part is easy, register at, clean shave on 30th November and collect sponsorship throughout Decembeard, as your facial fuzz grows.

About bowel cancer, did you know?

  • One person is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes
  • The lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer in the UK is 1 in 16
  • There are approximately 290,000 people alive in the UK who have had a diagnosis of bowel cancer at some point in their lives
  • Celebrities who were diagnosed with bowel cancer include Lynda Bellingham, Stephen Sutton, Robin Gibb, Bobby Moore

About beards, did you know?

  • The average human beard, if left untended, will grow 14cm a year
  • The longest beard ever belonged to Hans Langseth (Norway, b. 1846) which measured 5.33 m (17 ft 6 in)
  • ‘Pogonophobia’ is a fear of beards
  • A man who shaves spends roughly 3,350 hours of his life in the bathroom
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Once failed wannabe actress, Ex-music industry veteran who once dabbled in Artist Management, and now Film Journalist extraordinaire. My love for the arts has seen my fingers in many pies but my love of Film won the battle. Current work credits include Film Editor at Flavourmag, Film Journalist/Writer at HeyUGuys, London Live's London Film Club and DIY Magazine. Previous work credits contributor at The Voice Newspaper, FlickFeast, MyFilmClub and film review slot on radio.