Serious cancer message from Cromer Pier joker
Comedian Tucker, a regular at Cromer Pier, is using his act to highlight the dangers of testicular cancer, based on his personal battle with the disease.
But for cheeky comic Tucker, a regular at Cromer Pier who cut his showbusiness teeth as a holiday camp entertainer near Lowestoft, it was also the start of a far from funny personal battle with testicular cancer.
The 42-year-old who has bounced back from a double dose of the disease is however now working it into his act, in the hope that it will help other young men spot the problem earlier.
Tucker's troubles began in his late 20s when he was a Bluecoat at Pontins in Pakefield.
'There was never any talk of cancer in my family. I was fit and always running around as a Bluecoat. I notice a lump but left it several months before going to the doctor,' he admitted.
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A tumour was removed, and five years later the other testicle suffered the same fate, resulting in more surgery.
'That was even more devastating because I was in a relationship and we were talking about children,' said Tucker, who was born in North London, brought up in Essex, and now lives in Eastbourne.
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He headlined Cromer Pier's summer show in 2002 and 2003, returned to do the Christmas version in 2006 and does a one night special every summer at the venue, along with turkey and tinsel sessions back at Pakefield.
'When I was at Cromer it was too soon afterwards to mention it, but now I want my story out there because if I spotted the symptoms earlier maybe it could have been different.
'I want to use my comedy to raise awareness. There is a lot of publicity about breast cancer, but less about testicular cancer - so i wanted to do it in a comedic way.'
'It is not so much about my fight but trying to making something positive out of something negative,' said Tucker.
He introduces it by telling the story of a heckler who, when he told an audience he had no children shouted 'Jaffa' - meaning seedless - and his reply that 'actually it was testicular cancer' which silenced the barracker.
'I am hoping that maybe sparks awareness in a young man or his girlfriend - but also hoping he doesn't check himself during my show,' explained Tucker who said he was 'clear now, touch wood.'
The material was not suitable for all audiences, but was for comedy club settings, and would feature in his return to Cromer Pier Pavilion with supporting cast including singer and Loose Women panellist Zoe Tyler.
'It's not a joke, but there is also no need to die of embarrassment,' added Tucker, who has also appeared on the Michael Ball television show to highlight the cause.
More information at his website www.funnytucker.com