JDRF is grateful to have support from many talented and high-profile celebrities. Their backing is helping to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and the work that we do – just some of them are listed below.
Nina Wadia is an actress who has starred in many hit TV shows including Goodness Gracious Me, EastEnders, Still Open All Hours and will soon be on screens in BBC One’s Death in Paradise.
In September 2017, her son Aidan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 10 – something Nina admits to struggling with more than him, as she explains here: “There is no one braver in my life than my son. It is really tough to live with type 1, and the diagnosis was a terrible shock, but it is not the end of the world. Aidan has helped me to see that.
“A doctor told us we can still expect our son to have a great life, due to all the medical technology there now is to help. I am incredibly grateful for the research that JDRF funds towards this.”
Nina has recently taken part in Celebrity Catchphrase and Celebrity Tipping Point, donating her winnings to JDRF both times.
Actor James Norton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 2010.
The star of Grantchester, War and Peace and Happy Valley did not let type 1 diabetes prevent him from bursting onto the acting scene not long after his diagnosis and is now one of the UK’s leading actors.
James supports JDRF and lent his support to the 2016 #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign, filtering his Twitter profile picture and sharing his ‘DiaDigits’.
Speaking on World Diabetes Day 2016 as an ambassador for JDRF, James said:
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010 when I was near the start of my acting career. Managing the condition is a challenge, but I haven’t let it get in my way!
“I’m proud to support JDRF and its #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign.”
Fitness legend Mr Motivator supports JDRF campaigns, including the 100 Challenge which raised over £120,000 for type 1 diabetes research. Mr Motivator, whose daughter has type 1 diabetes, has also shared his tips on how to exercise with type 1 with JDRF supporters.
Mr Motivator says: “As a father of a daughter with type 1 diabetes, I hope that, one day, research will lead to a cure”
Comedian Ed Gamble has supported JDRF by taking part in events and campaigns to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds to support type 1 research.
The star of Mock The Week and Almost Royal took part in the Royal Parks half marathon for JDRF in October 2015.
Ed also took part in JDRF’s #Type1derWoman campaign in March 2016, naming his girlfriend and mother as a #Type1derWoman and posted his support on Twitter.
In 2017 Ed will run the London Marathon for JDRF. As part of his fundraising Ed hosted a comedy evening which featured performances by Aisling Bea, Milton Jones, Josh Widdicombe, Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar and Lolly Adefope at a sold out show in Putney, west London.
Jonny Labey, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 15, hasn’t let it get in the way of him soaring to new heights as a dancer, actor and singer. Jonny made his TV acting debut as popular EastEnders character Paul Coker and he included type 1 in his character’s storyline.
But Jonny’s greatest passion in life is dancing. He’s been a dancer since he was 5 years old and went on to graduate from the prestigious Doreen Bird College of Performance. Since then Jonny has gone on to win ITV’s Dance Dance Dance.
He’s also played the lead role as Scott Hastings in Baz Luhrmann’s West End hit musical Strictly Ballroom. In Jonny’s spare time he runs a blog Know Your Type, where he interviews people from all walks of life on their experiences and tips for managing the condition.
Jonny has supported our fundraising events The Secret Garden Dinner and Pro-Celebrity Golf day. He’s joined forces with JDRF to inspire young people to overcome obstacles caused by type 1 and to follow their dreams:
“Everyone with type 1 diabetes should have the self-belief they can achieve whatever they want in life.”
Hollywood actor Jeremy Irvine, who is a JDRF supporter, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of six. He said:
“When the chance came for me to take part in early artificial pancreas trials a few years ago, I jumped at the opportunity.
“I wanted to play my own very small part in moving the artificial pancreas closer to reality.”
Speaking of the JDRF-funded scientists behind the research, Jeremy said: “They are my heroes.”
Rapper, DJ, record producer and Love Island finalist Marcel Somerville was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2020. He supported JDRF’s One Night In fundraising event in 2021 with a DJ set that got everyone dancing in their living rooms.
Singer Amelia Lilly:
“I have had type 1 diabetes since I was three and it can make even the smallest daily activities a chore.
“I have to think about everything that I do, especially when preparing for a national tour. I support the amazing work that JDRF does, in the strong hope that one day there will finally be a cure!”
Sky News presenter Stephen Dixon, who lives with type 1 diabetes, said: “I’ve always refused to let type 1 diabetes hold me back. But minimising the effects of the condition does take considerable effort. I always carry Glucogel or a snack around with me in case I feel the symptoms of a hypo come on – which has happened when I’ve been on air.”
Speaking of JDRF’s artificial pancreas project, he said: “It is very exciting technology and I look forward to the time when I can use one myself as part of day-to-day life.”
British cellist Sheku Kenneh-Mason has supported JDRF with performances at fundraising events, including the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair auction and Secret Garden Fundraising Dinner. Sheku was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. It hasn’t held him back – he won the BBC Young Musician award in 2016 and also played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Jade is an actor, writer and stage performer who has lived with type diabetes since she was four.
Having been a professional actor for nine years with TV roles in the BBC’s Casualty, Inspector George Gently and The Dumping Ground, Jade decided the time was right to tell her own, dramatic story, and so wrote her one-woman stage show Pricks – a personal account of her 30 years living with type 1 diabetes.
Jade is committed to raising awareness in order to reduce the confusion and isolation, as well as the myths and misconceptions, that come from a lack of understanding about what type 1 diabetes is – as well as the psychological impact this can have on those with living with the lifelong condition:
“Raising awareness is so important, and something I can do even more of as a celebrity ambassador. This charity and the incredible work it does are very close to my heart and I’m so happy to be on board.”
Lead singer of rock band The Darkness, Dan Hawkins, ran the London marathon in aid of JDRF in 2019 and will run it again in October 2021.
Dan’s daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was three years old. Dan says: “We have an incredibly brave little girl and although it has been tough we have adjusted and it’s part of life now. She hasn’t let it stand in the way of her living the life she wants to.”
Television presenter Dominic Littlewood:
“I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. I may have had 20,000 hypos in my lifetime – that’s more than many people have had hot dinners. It highlights the challenge that this life-long condition represents.”
Adam Smith is a Sky Sports presenter whose roles include hosting his own weekly show Saturday Social as well as presenting Kings of the Premier League on Friday evenings and The Debate.
He also conducts regular weekly interviews with some of the biggest names in the Premier League as well as co-hosting regular shows on TalkSport radio.
Adam has also hosted a string of live events including presenting KSI vs Logan Paul from Los Angeles, the opening ceremony for the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and hosting a special one off event for the Queen’s 90th Birthday at Windsor Castle.
Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015 and says it has “completely changed his life”. Adam has a large fan base on social media and has supported several of JDRF’s campaigns, including our type 1 myth-busting campaign during Diabetes Week and our BBC Lifeline Appeal. He’s committed to raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, to dispel any stigma and misinformation about the condition and to help JDRF support and inspire everyone in the type 1 community.
Rugby star Chris Pennell is a big fan of our #TypeOnesie campaign. His team mates even love it too! Chris is the first professional rugby player living with type 1 diabetes to score a try for England.
Crime thriller novelist Peter James: “Living with type 2, I know from my own experiences of the often unpredictable nature of this disease, the frustrating, restrictive and very dangerous impact that diabetes can have on your life. JDRF’s mission to cure type 1 diabetes is very close to my heart and I hope that this will be achieved one day.”
Dr Radha Modgil
GP and medical television presenter Dr Radha Modgil:
“As a GP and someone who has experience of how type 1 diabetes affects children and their families, I wholeheartedly support the amazing work JDRF does. Let’s do our utmost to raise funds and awareness about diabetes – to find a cure and improve the lives of all those children, young people and families affected by it. We can do it!”