Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.56.04A CAMPAIGN to encourage more young women to attend cervical screening is being piloted in Middlesbrough with the help of actress Michelle Keegan.

The former Coronation Street star has given her voice to a new radio commercial being aired on TFM.

The campaign is scheduled to get underway on Monday, May 18, with the radio ads worked on in a partnership between NHS England and Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Councils.

Cervical screening already saves up to 4,500 lives a year yet many women who are eligible for screening do not take up their invitation.

Early detection and treatment can prevent 75% of cancers developing.

In the advert to be broadcast Michelle, who recently starred in the BBC drama Ordinary Lies, appeals to women aged 25-29, saying: “You get your roots done every six to eight weeks and you love painting your nails for a night out, but girls – it’s important to look after the bits you can’t see too.

“Cervical screening does just that, so if you are aged between 25-64 make an appointment as soon as that letter arrives.”

Edward Kunonga, Director of Public Health for Middlesbrough Council, said: “Over the next year we aim to lead the charge in tackling this and significantly raise our uptake locally using a variety of methods.

“We’re delighted to have hired Michelle Keegan as the voice of the radio commercials. Michelle is hugely popular with the target audience for the campaign and has a recognisable voice that will help the commercials stand out on air and resonate with female listeners.”

Dr Claire Bradford, head of public health for NHS England, Cumbria and the North East, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Middlesbrough Council to support this project.

“The cervical screening procedure is quick and it can save lives. If abnormalities are detected at an early stage then treatment can reduce the risk of cervical cancer developing, so it’s really important women attend their screening appointment.

“We hope this campaign will raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and how it is an important part of looking after your health.”