Why This ITV Special Moved So Many Viewers To Tears

Photo: ITV
It's easy to be cynical about any TV show that combines charity and celebrity, but Thursday's The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night is rightly being praised for its empowering celebration of women's bodies and female solidarity.
Inspired by the '90s Britcom The Full Monty, the ITV show followed eight female celebrities as they prepared to bare all on stage to raise awareness of breast cancer. A troupe of male celebrities had done much the same thing for prostate cancer the night before.
The celebrities taking part included broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, who underwent an elective mastectomy two years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Also taking part was Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, who underwent a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction and hysterectomy five years ago after discovering she was carrying the breast and ovarian cancer gene.
Loose Women presenter Coleen Nolan, Absolutely Fabulous actress Helen Lederer, DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford, sitcom actress Ruth Madoc, Emmerdale's Sally Dexter and reality star Megan McKenna completed the lineup. During the show, they all shared stories of how breast cancer had affected their lives.
As they prepared a playful routine to "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman, the women bonded with one another and opened up about their body insecurities. When Heaton admitted she felt "disconnected" from her breasts following her surgery, Nolan offered a sympathetic ear and kind, non-intrusive advice.
The eventual stage routine, which saw the women shed their Julien McDonald gowns and celebrate their bodies, was a heartwarming finale to a sensitive, informative and very moving show. Unsurprisingly, it prompted a flurry of emotional posts on Twitter.
"Feeling empowered this evening to love my body for what it is," one woman wrote. "Some of these women have had horrendous experiences. I look after myself with exercise and diet. i’m not a size 10 and never will b, but i am learning to love myself. Well done ladies."
Check out a selection of reactions to the show below, including one from perfumer Jo Malone, who is a breast cancer survivor.
Find out more about breast cancer prevention, treatment and support on the NHS website and through Breast Cancer UK 
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