Live footage from a camera attached to a colonoscope will show the removal of bowel polyps, a procedure that can prevent the development of bowel cancer.
The procedure will be performed and filmed at Cardiff and Vale University Hospital by Dr Sunil Dolwani, who will explain what viewers can see throughout the live broadcast.
The ad, a ‘global broadcasting first’, will be broadcast live on Channel 4 on 18 January at 3.25pm, and later rerun during the second break of Channel 4 drama No Offence.
Cancer Research UK will also be streaming the procedure live on Facebook with a cancer nurse to answer viewers’ questions.
To build anticipation, 10-second teasers will run from today (16 January) on Channel 4.
The charity hopes to show, through showing the achingly real procedure, the positive impact research has had on the development of more effective tests and treatments to beat cancer.
It forms part of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign, which shines a light on the day-to-day reality of life of patients and families affected by cancer in the UK –warts and all – instead of sugar-coating.
Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: “Broadcasting Philip’s colonoscopy live gives us the opportunity to show one of the many people across the UK who is benefitting from procedures that wouldn’t be possible without research.
“Half of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime so it’s important to break down barriers, encourage conversation and show the progress that is being made in beating cancer."
Danny Peace, agency principal from Channel 4, added: “This partnership with Cancer Research UK delivers a truly unique and highly engaging experience for viewers whilst conveying a very important message. We’re really excited to build upon 4 Sales’ legacy for industry leading ad break innovations.”