The charity has persuaded pop stars Kelly Osbourne, LeAnn Rimes and the Cheeky Girls, England rugby player Phil Vickery, Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent, celebrity mum Gaynor Faye and EastEnders’ star Chris Parker to lend their support.
‘We hope the campaign will change young people’s attitudes to sunbathing,’ said Cancer Research PR manager Georgia Veats. ‘Getting a tan is dangerous.’
Veats approached celebrities who are seen as role models by young people and parents to help get the charity’s message across. Independent academic research has revealed that although cancer is rare in children and young people under 26, UV damage to young skin contributes most to risk from skin cancer later in life.
The campaign, which will kick off in March, is intended to encourage these high-risk groups to follow the core messages of last year’s SunSmart campaign to protect themselves in the sun.
Cases of malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer and the third most common among those aged 15-39 – have increased by almost a quarter over the past five years.