For nearly eight years now people have stared at my face. In the street, on the tube, in shops, while I'm eating, it doesn't matter where I am, they can't help it. Some point, some laugh, most look on in admiration and sometimes, I'm sure I've seen onlookers weep steamy tears of joy when they look at me.
The reason for this reaction is neither a grotesque affliction or that I resemble Brad Pitt. It is quite simply the Mo that adorns my face, big bushy and proud, combating prostate and testicular cancer by raising funds and awareness for Movember.
We, the Movember fraternity, are back and we're more committed than ever. The energy and buzz that we've been feeling from all the UK Mo Bros during our trip around the UK has told us one thing: Moustache season is officially open!
We are five years old in the UK this year, but it all started with a handful of humble lads back in Oz, who wanted to make a real and lasting difference to the face of men's health. Last Movember we raised our highest ever total - £48.6 million globally, £11.7m in the UK. But then came the realisation that we're going to have to do it again this year, and raise even more money.
We've been truly privileged over the past few years. It's been a wild, emotional and inspirational journey. It's crazy to think this all began, and I'm continually amazed by the privileged position in which we find ourselves. Over 1.1 million committed Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, literally changing the face of men's health worldwide, and as a result mapped over 25 types of prostate cancer.
The serious bit and why we're here is that one in nine men in the UK will get prostate cancer at some stage in their life. Scary stat huh?
Try the fact that more than one man dies from prostate cancer every hour in the UK for motivation.
The money you will help raise goes towards fighting testicular and prostate cancer and our affiliated scientists have for the first time constructed a complete genetic map of prostate cancer, this is a truly historic breakthrough and will increase the understanding of how the disease works, leading to improved and more personalised treatment. Now I'm no scientist, but what it does mean is that we can determine the 'pussycats' from the 'tigers'. The cancers that will kill you quick and need attention and the ones that can be managed without impacting on quality of life.
So when you, your mates, your dad, brothers, boyfriends or husbands become a Mo Bro, you are helping raise vital funds for our health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research, and helping in the assault on men's health issues.
So, we're drawing to the close of week one 2011's campaign. It's been a mad one. We've had some great Mo Bros and Mo Sistas kicking off this incredible month. From Phillip Schofield overseeing testicle touching on This Morning, Sarah Beeny rocking a Mo with the Mo Sistas on Loose Women to Stephen Fry agreeing to grow back his iconic Blackadder Mo over social media, our incredible worldwide community have already pushed the boundaries of what we dreamed possible. On top of that, we've just gone and absolutely smashed our total registration count from last year...before the month even started!
I know you, my naked lipped brethren and the good Mo Sistas who are supporting us in our mission are as pumped as we are. We salute you. Handsome men. Popular men. Men that other men want to be. Men that women want to be with.
I bid farewell to my Mo earlier this week. It feels totally weird to have a naked upper lip, but it's part of the process and I'm looking forward to growing the old girl back. So here's to all the citizens of Movember, enjoy the ride, we salute you. If this week is anything to go by, it's going to be a mad, mad month.
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