Charley Boorman Big Stand Up
The intrepid paddlers.Image by: Ben Bowers
Charley Boorman Big Stand Up
14 May 2021

The Big Stand Up for Men's Health

6 minutes read time

On Monday nd Tuesday next week (17th & 18th May) a team of 11 intrepid celebs - led by Charley Boorman - are embarking on a 30 mile endurance paddle to complete the length of the Basingstoke Canal in just two days in support of Movember and raising awareness of men’s mental health and the importance of social connection during these unprecedented times.

The team - whose members have themselves suffered from testicular cancer or mental health challenges - will set off on Monday 17th May to give hope and optimism to others for the coming year. Originally planned for Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year) Covid19 lockdown forced a change in dates but the team are committed to take on the challenge show that fun and adventure can be found close to home.

The team consists of Charley Boorman (Adventurer/Presenter), James Phelps (Fred Weasley, Harry Potter), Damon Hill (F1 World Champion), James Haskell (England Rugby), Chloe Madeley (Presenter/Fitness Coach), Matthew Wright (Journalist, Presenter), D*Face (Street Artist), Amy Voce (Radio presenter), Nick and Giles English (Bremont Watches Founders), expedition organiser Ben Bowers and paddle guide Paul Hyman.

The group of friends are coming together, shoulder to shoulder through a shared activity to set an example for other men that no matter the situation you find yourself in, looking to friends for support and sharing in experiences can be a good way to get through the tough times. The trip will require both physical and mental resilience which all the team members have developed over time through their own personal challenges. Building the resilience to overcome those challenges, talking about their experiences and seeking help and support have been vital tools to thrive.

Paddling together they will help each other through the challenges on the water whilst also taking time along the way to connect and talk opening up about some of the tough stuff in their lives.

" All my life and all our lives we are faced with challenges big and small. It’s how we get through them and what we do that counts. "

The initiative has been spearheaded by two-time testicular cancer survivor and Movember Ambassador Ben Bowers and his good friend, Charley Boorman who has also had testicular cancer as well as many other life threatening accidents over the years.

Ben said: “Having had a pretty tough year as everyone has in 2020, I was in need of doing something positive not only for myself but for other men. I’ve had worse years through my cancer fight and I was able to draw upon the resilience built through those experiences to stay mentally well in lockdown. For me keeping mentally well meant getting outside and engaging with nature. I’m so pleased that with Charley’s help we’ve pulled together our crack team of paddlers and hope we can inspire others to take positive action regarding their wellbeing. ”

Charley said: “I first met Ben a number of years ago. We both had gone through a scare with Testicular Cancer. Our path’s crossed through a mutual friend and we became friends for life. When Ben asked me to get involved in the expedition to highlight men’s health and mental health I jumped at the chance. All my life and all our lives we are faced with challenges big and small. It’s how we get through them and what we do that counts. Our family and friends around us are also really important. So I’m delighted to join a bunch of like-minded people and get involved in this challenge in May.”

If you'd like to make a donation to the team check out their Mo Space here:

Here is the full list of Paddlers:

Charley Boorman

Adventurer and co-star of the “Long Way” motorcycle adventure series, Charley has faced numerous challenges including the loss of his twin sister, Testicular Cancer and numerous serious motorcycle accidents. Talking and being open has been a big part of his recovery both mentally and physically as had his drive to get back on his feet and onto the next adventure.

James & Chloe Haskell

Former England Rugby star James represented his country over 50 times and played for the British and Irish Lions before retiring and turning to a career of presenting and DJ’ing. Taking part in “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” propelled him into the public eye winning him fans outside the sport.

James says:

“Men’s mental health is something I feel very strongly about. So much more needs to be done to get men talking about their problems and taking action to fix them. We are doing a lot, but suicide rates are still going up and while suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 our work is not done.”

Chloe is a television presenter, fitness expert, podcast host and author who has released a number of best selling fitness books and videos. The daughter of Good Morning presenters Richard and Judy, Chloe has been a big advocate of mental health and has supported James greatly through his retirement and transition into a new career.

Matthew Wright

Broadcaster and Journalist, Matthew was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago. Chronic insomnia has ensued following a series of mental bumps and knocks at work and home including the suicide of a close friend.

Damon Hill

‘I’ve suffered with depression since losing my father, aged 15. Post racing career fell into a deeper depression which was resolved with the help of talking to a therapist. Thinks one of the best therapies is being outside and doing something exciting, like paddle-boarding! Especially with a great bunch of people.’


Dean Stockton, better known as D*Face, born in 1978 in London, is an English street artist who is recognised as one of the most prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation. “It’s no secret that many artists across history and including myself, have battled with issues of isolation and loneliness. What Street Art brings to the table for both artist and viewer alike is a catalyst for conversation, a common point of reference for casual discussion - removing the social stigma that prevents so many men from opening up to friends and family. So much can be achieved in such few words, someone just needs to start the conversation.”

Amy Voce

Virgin Radio presenter & podcaster Amy Voce has been an honorary Mo sister to Movember since losing her Dad to Prostate cancer over 10 years ago. Having taken part in numerous fundraising events and discussions surrounding grief, Amy is passionate about how important it is to get men talking about their health.

Nick & Giles English

Bremont Founders and Brothers.

Ben Bowers

Two time Testicular Cancer survivor and Movember ambassador knows a thing or two about challenges and the importance of talking about your mental health. Having struggled mentally after beating cancer twice in his 20’s Ben has spent over ten years campaigning for men’s health. Needing a challenge for his own wellbeing during the pandemic, the idea for “The Big Stand Up” was born.

James Phelps

One half of the Weasley Twins in the Harry Potter films, James spends a good deal of his time outdoors whether that be on his bike or a paddleboard. He’s recently launched a very successful podcast with his brother where they discuss mental health and look to inspire others to take positive action.