Paddy McGuinness reveals heartbreaking connection to cancer ahead of Don’t Look Down debut

Virgin Radio

3 Oct 2023, 14:59

Credit: Channel 4

Paddy McGuinness has revealed his emotional connection to cancer as he prepares to take on the challenge of a lifetime in Channel 4’s Don’t Look Down for Stand Up To Cancer. 

The Top Gear star is not only the host of Don’t Look Down but also the leader of a pack of celebrities tasked with walking a high-wire 300 feet above London.

In order to train for the never-before-attempted challenge, the Question of Sport host and the stars travelled to the Austrian Alps with high-wire experts. That training included a number of death-defying stunts and adrenaline-fuelled challenges. 

The likes of Beverley Callard, former footballer Anton Ferdinand and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt joined Paddy in the mountains, alongside sports pundit and Love Island finalist Chris Hughes, French football icon David Ginola, adventurer and motoring expert Charley Boorman, TikTok star GK Barry, content creator and comedian Fats Timbo and Olympic champion cyclist and jockey Victoria Pendleton. 

Speaking to and other press, Paddy revealed his personal connection to cancer, and why he felt strongly about taking part in this show more than any others. 

The telly star explained: “I think, especially with Stand Up to Cancer, I've done stuff for them in the past. They got in touch about doing this show. For me, obviously, I think everyone, whether we like it or not, knows someone that has been affected by cancer, or has been affected personally. So, obviously, that's always in your mind. 

“When they explained it to me, I kinda thought, when you're hosting something you're normally like, ‘off you go’, and when they said about getting involved a little bit, I thought it was quite interesting. I've never seen it done before. I've never seen Ant and Dec in the jungle eating kangaroo's penis. You know, they're always like, ‘go on, get it down ya!’"

Cancer is a subject close to Paddy’s heart. His father died from colon cancer, and his brother was previously diagnosed with leukaemia, and it was the hard work of those at Stand Up To Cancer that encouraged the star to not only take part, but to lead the fundraising series. 

Paddy continued: “My thing with Stand Up to Cancer, especially with the raising money, is I, hope, touch word, that within all of our lifetimes, they'll have cracked the cure. I'm all about the research, and the more money that can be pumped into that, the better. My brother had leukaemia and he's still with us. But with him, and this is kind of a good thing, I don't even think about it anymore. How he lives his life….I'm glad I don't think about it with him. 

“Imagine waking up in the morning…and seeing that headline? They finally found a cure to cancer. It'll be mind-blowing, it will be amazing. That's the hope, the more people chuck a little bit of money in the better.”

Don’t Look Down for SU2C begins on Tuesday 10th October at 9.30pm on Channel 4

For more information on Stand Up To Cancer and to find out how you can support the cause, visit or