Viewers are heaping praise on “brave” and “inspirational” Victoria Derbyshire for conquering crippling self-doubt following her mastectomy, on The Real Full Monty Ladies Night.
The BBC broadcaster broke down in tears during the all-female celebrity group’s first rehearsal as her life-threatening battle with breast cancer came flooding back.
Victoria had multiple crises of confidence and came close to quitting the women’s dance routine to This Is Me, from The Greatest Showman, before taking to the stage on last night’s ITV show.
She was determined to go through with the performance to repay the support other women gave her during her treatment, including breast reconstruction, chemo and radiotherapy.
The 49-year-old wept as the painful memories resurfaced when choreographer Ashley Banjo, of Diversity, invited her to show the group her moves at their initial meet-up.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) March 30, 2018
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) March 29, 2018
She said: “I haven’t cried for ages about having cancer or my body or whatever.
“I could just feel these hot tears because I thought, ‘Oh God, this is so embarrassing, I’m going to cry in front of all these women.”
Victoria, who is now free of cancer, became emotional recalling her diagnosis. “‘I thought, ‘Okay, that’s it, my time is up, I am probably going to die.
“‘I’m not going to see my boys grow up, I’m not going to get old with Mark’.”
After watching burlesque dancers on stage at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris, she dropped a bombshell, telling Coleen Nolan: “I don’t want to do it.
“It’s not right. We could do something else to raise awareness.”
But overnight she had a change of heart. “When I was diagnosed I had so much support from other women everywhere. And we have to do the same for other women,” she said.
“And if that involves creating a fun, noisy event, obviously I’m going to do it.
“I had a mastectomy, so I want to do as much as I can to make sure other women dont’get breast cancer, or if they do, that they spot it early.”
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Her strength and bravery received overwhelming support on Twitter.
— Stu Hammond (@BigStuhamcapie) March 29, 2018
— Jono Read (@jonoread) March 29, 2018
Victoria Derbyshire is so brave, so strong. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Thank you for raising awareness #TheRealFullMonty
— XxMrs OxX (@xXxMrsOxXx) March 29, 2018
Victoria Derbyshire has got me in absolute bits here 😢#therealfullmonty
— Sam (@Sam_Crampton) March 29, 2018
Just want to give Victoria Derbyshire a big hug of support 😢💔👏👌 #therealfullmonty
— Marjorie Minge DBE (@MadameMinge) March 29, 2018
I’m absolutely sobbing at Victoria Derbyshire. #therealfullmonty
— 🦖 Chrissi 🦖 (@ChrissiX) March 29, 2018
Victoria’s video diary was so incredibly brave and inspiring #TheRealFullMonty
— Ryan Love (@RyanJL) March 29, 2018
Watching this, I can’t believe how sweary Vic Derbyshire is 😂😂
Looking fabulous – a wonderful role model & inspiration to many. 😘 — Gertrude Perkins (@gertieperkins8) March 29, 2018
The performance by Victoria, Coleen and fellow celebs Michelle Heaton, Ruth Madoc, Helen Lederer, Sally Dexter, Megan McKenna and Sarah-Jane Crawford followed the men’s live routine 24 hours earlier.