As a scientist you don't expect to be asked questions about examining giant (artificial) testicles or robotic rectums. Or having debates about whether two fictional teenagers should be allowed to go skydiving. All of these conversations have happened to me. Many more even stranger ones happened over the course of this year's Stand Up To Cancer campaign, but I shan't publish them here because you will think I'm making it up.
Working on a campaign like Stand Up To Cancer has been one of the most amazing and bizarre things I've ever done. And in the penultimate episode of our podcast series, Claire Rowney (my boss) joined in to shed a little light on what goes into organising a fundraising campaign of this scale and what we ultimately hope to achieve.
Hear Kirstie Allsopp and I in conversation with Claire now
I've spent much of my career hunched over one lab bench or another, so suddenly finding myself immersed in the world of media, dealing with a wider variety of questions than you could possibly imagine, was quite a shock.
I've met and worked with a plethora of supporters and scientists at Stand Up To Cancer events. And I've loved sharing the mic with Kirstie Allsopp on these podcasts. But something I'll never forget is ending up on stage with Alan Carr talking about some of the science that the public have funded on the live show on Channel 4. I even exploded some melons.
No explanation will do this justice so you'll have to check it out for yourself...
I was staggered seeing just how many people, even global superstars, were prepared to Stand Up To Cancer. It reminded me how important this cause is to so many people. From people in the street, to the firemen who donned orange tutus, to the many celebs; this cause has grabbed us all. Our director of Stand Up To Cancer, Claire Rowney, is so invested in this cause that she actually said "I'm not going anywhere until we've stopped cancer in its tracks. Or until security revoke my entry pass!"
The outcome of this strange and amazing period of work is that we have been able to reach millions of people and let them know about the work we are doing, and the optimism that exists. And in turn, thousands and thousands of people have got behind the campaign. They have performed ludicrous acts in the name of Stand Up To Cancer and raised millions of pounds for research. The money is still coming in and, believe me, we will put it to good use.
One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, which is why I think this cause resonates with everyone. In a short amount of time Stand Up To Cancer has established itself in the hearts, minds and televisions of people across the UK and I can't wait to see where the future takes us.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of the public we managed to raise over £15.7 million pounds this year but there's still so much more to be done. We can only beat cancer together. If you want to find out how you can get involved in the campaign please head over to www.standuptocancer.org.uk for more information.