Anthea and friends, all dressed up for a charity marathon… in their bras
01:03 GMT, 10 May 2012
They're walking 26 miles through London in the dead of night. So you might expect this trio, glamorous though they are, to wear something warm and, well, practical.
But, like thousands of other women on Saturday night, former lingerie models Jilly Johnson and Nina Carter and TV presenter Anthea Turner will be setting off from Hyde Park showing off their bras.
They’re taking part in the annual MoonWalk marathon to raise money for breast cancer research.
Braving to bare: Jilly Johnson, Anthea Turner and Nina Carter will all be taking part in the 26-mile MoonWalk to raise money for breast cancer research after their lives were all touched by personal cancer tragedies
Like many of the walkers, Jilly Johnson, 58, Nina Carter, 60, and Miss Turner, 52 this month, have been inspired by friends who have died from the disease.
‘At our age you’re suddenly more aware of friends who’ve succumbed to this awful disease,’ said Miss Turner.
Her companions, who were the first Page 3 girls, modelled for Janet Reger in the 1970s and will be remembering their former boss, who died in 2005, aged 69, after a 14-year battle against cancer.
For former Blue Peter presenter Miss Turner, it is fellow host Caron Keating, who died in 2004 aged 41, who will be uppermost in her thoughts. ‘She was so youthful and vibrant; it was a terrible awakening,’ said Miss Turner.
‘Everyone is buoyed up by
the amazing camaraderie of the walkers, and a very surreal thing happens
about 3am when the nightclubs close.
'All these drunken blokes are
confronted by women in bras. They think they’ve died and gone to
Jilly is apprehensive about revealing her ‘jelly belly’ but
despite being a grandmother-of-three still lives up to her 1980s
nickname ‘The Body’ and even modelled a Janet Reger range last year.
On the march: Fundraisers begin the MoonWalk
Janet’s only daughter Aliza, 45, who now runs the family company, and
will be joining the trio on the walk, says, ‘Mum was diagnosed just
before my wedding in 1991. Her surgeon was fantastic. He promised her
she’d dance at my wedding and she did. In fact she went on for another
‘But she died, as she had lived, dramatically. She deteriorated very
quickly and had flown back to London from her home in Mauritius, but she
died on the way to hospital.
'The last words I said to her were, “I’ll
see you tomorrow, Mum” – but, of course, I never did, and if I’d known I
wouldn’t see her alive again I’m sure our conversation would have been
‘But I still feel her presence; I still think, “What would mum say” She
wasn’t remotely sporty but she’d be thrilled to think of us walking in
our customised pink tulle bras.'
'Jilly and Nina were the first Janet
Reger catalogue girls and in a sense Mum helped launch their careers.
'Her lingerie was very raunchy at the time; the first underwear to be
fashionable and sexy rather than just functional.’
Fitting: MoonWalk marquee lit by a full moon
Nina, meanwhile, lost
three close family members, her mother Joyce, father Clifford and
brother Graham, to different forms of cancer, and is sharply aware of
the impact it has, not only on sufferers, but their families.
‘Half of my family was wiped out by this dreadful disease,’ says Nina,
who married her second husband, plastic surgeon Douglas Harrison, two
‘Although my mother lived until she was 86, Daddy died at 52,
and when Graham was also diagnosed in his 50s I was the one who cracked
'I was distraught, but he was so brave. I thought, “How has this
happened again to someone so close to me”
‘And one in four of my
husband’s patients have or had breast cancer. So it is a terrible and
prevalent disease. But the wonderful thing about the MoonWalk is that it
is so positive. It gives strength and hope to people and we know how
vital this is.
*So far the ladies have raised almost 6000 and you can sponsor them