THE BLOG

Why I'm Supporting Stand Up to Cancer

16/10/2014 17:25 BST | Updated 16/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Every day in the UK more than 900 people are told that they have cancer. With numbers like that, it's no wonder that they say cancer touches everybody's lives at some point. In the last couple of years, I've discovered just how true that is.

It's been well documented that one of my best friends, Ross Hutchins, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a few years ago. Ross and I had grown up together on the tennis circuit, and his diagnosis was devastating.

He was treated with chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital and a year after his diagnosis, his cancer went into remission. He's now fit and well to this day - a testimony to the crucial advances we've made in cancer treatment thanks to ground-breaking research into the illness.

But not everyone is so lucky. At the beginning Elena Baltacha, the former British number one, was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. She died in May, at the age of 30.

Elena was a wonderful person, someone I knew well from our time playing as kids. Her death is a tragedy to all those who knew her, and to the wider tennis community.

In 2012, Stand Up To Cancer raised a phenomenal £8million, which helped to finance 12 clinical trials in this country. It goes without saying that the more money we raise, the more research we can fund and the more lives we could save. As such, and given what happened to Ross and Elena, I had absolutely no hesitation in saying yes to the opportunity to take part.

It seems odd to say it, when you're dealing with a subject as serious as cancer, but the shoot was a brilliant experience. The idea is that Richard Ayoade is directing Andy Murray the Movie, a biopic of my life, and he and I are auditioning a somewhat oddball assortment of personalities to cast someone to play me. Among those after the role are Cesc Fabregas, Terry Wogan, Dara O'Briain, Rory McIlroy, Michael Sheen, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran and Tim Henman. Britney Spears also auditioned for the part of Kim 'Spears'.

I have to say, I didn't find keeping a straight face easy. People who are used to seeing my rather serious on-court demeanour might not be used to me trying to stifle a laugh, but I defy anyone to sit next to Richard Ayoade and stay in control.

Other than that, all I'm willing to say at this stage is that Ed Sheeran needs to stick to singing, Rory McIlroy has an interesting tennis technique, and Cesc Fabregas is definitely off my Christmas card list. Oh, and Dynamo is really called Steven.

Hopefully people will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. Let's hope it's a brilliant night, and it raises a ton of cash in the ongoing fight against cancer.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which funds ground breaking research to bring new and kinder treatments to patients to beat cancer sooner. The campaign culminates in a live show on Channel 4 on Friday 17 October