Our celebrity supporters

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.

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.”


Rugby star Henry Slade, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 18.Henry Slade 2 crop

Henry has not let his condition prevent him from reaching the very top of rugby union and has featured for England in the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.

Henry supports JDRF and has met some young JDRF supporters to discuss how he deals with type 1 while playing professional rugby. He also shared how he prefers to eat Jelly Babies when his levels go a bit low!

Speaking to JDRF Henry said:

“Obviously it’s a serious condition. There’s no getting around that. But it’s okay as long as you manage yourself. I check my blood sugar levels about eight to ten times a day. I test before every training session and in between as well.”

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.

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.”

Professional footballer Ben Coker, is an icon to many in the type 1 diabetes community.Ben Coker

Ben has on a number of occasions met young children with type 1 local to his club Southend United.

Ben also posed in a onesie for JDRF’s #TypeOnesie campaign.

news_EsteHaimMusician Este Haim – part of the international best-selling group ‘Haim’– lives with type 1 diabetes.  She said: “type 1 diabetes takes a lot of planning. It’s no joke. You’ve got to take it seriously.

“I know we can help fund a cure together…let’s do this and help me kick this thing in the butt!”

news_Si King Hairy BikerTV chef and one half of the Hairy Bikers, Si King, is father to a teenager living with type 1 diabetes. He launched a JDRF-supporting weight lost campaign in 2014 and described JDRF-funded research as ‘absolutely fantastic.’

Professional footballer Richard Wood is father to a young son who lives with type 1 diabetes.richard-wood-1-2

Richard, who plays for south Yorkshire side Rotherham United spoke to JDRF in 2016 about helping his son manage type 1 while playing professional football. Richard said:

“I go to every match concerned about Jenson’s type 1. In fact, every day I go into training I think and worry about how he will be.

“I don’t think that will ever change but, luckily, he has a great mum who I have complete trust in and looks after Jenson really well.”

Richard is standing at the back, fourth from the right
Richard is standing at the back, fourth from the right

Richard and his Rotherham teammates also donned blue JDRF t-shirts before a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 2016.

Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter - cropDownton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville: “It’s really important to get people talking about and understanding type 1 diabetes. That’s why JDRF needs the support of people like you and me, so they can continue to carry out vital research and make important progress in the understanding and treatment of the condition – and move that one step closer to finding a cure.”

Downton Abbey stars Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt: “We believe that everyone, including people living with type 1 diabetes, deserves to get the most out of life. JDRF is a wonderful charity doing great things for people affected by the condition.”

Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter: “I had the privilege of hosting a live auction at a Downton Abbey charity dinner for JDRF. The remarkable evening made me realise the impact that living with type 1 diabetes can have on someone’s life. It is a pleasure to help promote JDRF’s mission and help support research into the condition.”

Amelia Lily
Amelia Lily

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!”

Hollywood actor Jude Law:jude-law-and-dillan-photo-credit-james-appleton “Type 1 diabetes can happen to anyone. A child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.

“As a father, I can appreciate the strain that could place on a family.

“That’s why JDRF has my full support for greater investment into type 1 diabetes research.

“For both children and adults with the condition, we must push forward to find the cure.”

Felicity Jones

BAFTA and Oscar nominated The Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones– is a supporter of JDRF.

She said: “Many medical conditions have such a huge impact on daily life. For some the effects are visually obvious to people. But for others – like type 1 diabetes – it’s not.

“It would be wonderful if more people unaffected by type 1 diabetes knew more about it. So if I can do anything to raise awareness – and help bust some myths – then that’s cool!”

news_domlittlewoodTelevision 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.”

Stephen DixonSky 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.”

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.”

Chris Pennell

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.


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!”

Celebrities "putting type 1 diabetes in the picture"

Football legend Gianfranco Zola
Broadcaster Jamie Theakston


Cricket legend James Anderson
Former England rugby international Mike Tindall
Boy George at JDRF Art Antiques London Party in the Park London event
Singer Boy George
Olympic gymnastics hero Louis Smith
Comedian and actor Aisling Bea
Actor, comedian and TV presenter Josh Widdicombe
One-liner comedy star Milton Jones
Stand up comic Nish Kumar
Josh Widdicombe, Nish Kumar, Ed Gamble and Joel Dommett