The Mighty Boosh stopped me dying from testicular cancer

The show told him to check his balls


A young filmmaker has revealed how cult comedy The Mighty Boosh saved his life by inspiring him to check for testicular cancer. 

Joe Melarkey, 21, watched a skit called The Story of Voodoo Scat in which one of the characters discovers the male cancer early and has it removed.

The message stuck with him and when he found a lump last Christmas he immediately went to the doctor.

After extensive tests and an anxious wait, it was confirmed he did have testicular cancer.

But because he had caught the disease early he was able to undergo immediate surgery and was given the all-clear last month.

Joe, from Kingswood, Bristol, said: “I laugh when I say it because it does sound ridiculous – but the Mighty Boosh may well have saved my life.

“There was this silly skit about checking your balls and it stayed with me, so I did actually check regularly.

“Who knows, if I hadn’t caught it so early I may not be here.”

The award-winning show was fronted by Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt between 2004 and 2007.

The surreal sketch that saved Joe’s life tells the story of jazz musician Howling Jimmy Jefferson who lived by the swamps in Mississippi.

When Jimmy discovered he was dying of a “strange swamp fever” he decided to make one final record called Voodoo Scat and mixed it with a drop of his own blood.

He enlists the help of Tiny Robert who, following Jimmy’s death develops ‘ball cancer’.

However, the narrator says: “He spotted it early and had it removed and it was all fine.

“There is a lesson in that for everyone. Check your balls.”

After following the show’s advice, Joe had an 84-day treatment plan where he underwent chemotherapy for five days every two weeks.

“I have nothing but praise for the NHS – it was absolutely brilliant,” said Joe, who is setting up his own film business The Reel Melarky.

“I had amazing support from my friends and family, especially my mum Zoe and my uncle Scott who would travel down from Coventry.”

Despite being a life changing moment, Joe struggles to remember the day he was given the all clear, guessing at mid-June.

He said: “To be honest it was all a bit strange.

“The day I was given the all-clear I didn’t really take it in. It didn’t seem real or make sense that I didn’t need to go to the hospital anymore.

“It was only a couple of days later that it started to sink in.”

After his recovery, Joe went on a sailing trip around the Isle of Wight with 24 other cancer survivors thanks to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.