A pioneering new cancer research study has been launched in Manchester in the memory of the late Sarah Harding.
The BCAN-RAY (Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Young Women) has been set up following the former Girls Aloud star’s dying wish to find new ways to spot the signs of the disease earlier, and stop it cutting lives like hers short.
Sarah Harding sadly passed away from breast cancer aged 39 back in September 2021, just over a year after publicly announcing her diagnosis was terminal.
The innovative study has been made possible through funding from The Christie Charity, Cancer Research UK, and the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal with support from Sarah’s family, friends and Girls Aloud bandmates – who, through various fundraising initiatives, have together raised over £1 million to date.
“Research is incredibly important in the fight against cancer,” Harding said before her death in 2021.
“Although this research may not be in time to help me, this project is incredibly close to my heart as it may help women like me in the future.”
BCAN-RAY will be one of the first research studies in the world to identify new ways to predict the risk of younger women getting breast cancer, and it’s being launched right here in Greater Manchester – with its first participant being local healthcare assistant, 33-year-old Catherine Craven-Howe, who is from Hale in Trafford.
The new study has been launched as it’s revealed that more than 150 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in the UK, and nearly a fifth of all cases are women who are under 50, and most of who don’t have a family history of the disease.
Despite it being the most common cause of death in women aged 30-55 years, there is currently no routine screening programme for early breast cancer in younger women who don’t have family history of the disease.
BCAN-RAY – which is taking place at The Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital – will look at risk factors that are most commonly found in women diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30s.
Based on those risk factors, scientists will build a model that can identify which women are most at risk in the hopes that their findings will enable all women to have a risk assessment for breast cancer when they reach the age of 30.
Those women identified as high risk could then have access to early screening and opportunities for prevention, to reduce the chances of them developing and potentially dying from the disease.
The study involves recruiting 1,000 women aged between 30 and 39 years old.
250 will be women diagnosed with breast cancer with no family history of the disease, who will be studied alongside 750 women in the same age group who have not had breast cancer, and who also have no family history of the disease.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”