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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Vikki White

Victoria Derbyshire and other celebs share personal praise for NHS as it turns 74

Our love for the NHS has rightly never shone brighter and tomorrow is NHS Day - celebrating 74 years since the beginning of the nation's health service.

We're marking it with the help of inspirational Dr Sukh Dubb, who has launched the Waiting Room - a series of 21 films celebrating the inspirational people of our beloved NHS.

From a childhood on the breadline in Birmingham, Dr Sukh qualified as both a doctor and a dentist and is currently training as a facial surgeon.

In extracts from his series, three famous faces reveal why they will always be grateful for the NHS.

Victoria Derbyshire

Victoria Derbyshire (right) is among those who have spoken to Dr Sukh Dubb (left) about the NHS (Handout)

Broadcaster and journalist Victoria Derbyshire was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She knows how vital it is to recruit talent from across the globe.

She recalls: "It was a Sunday evening. I was just getting ready for bed. I looked in the mirror and my right breast seemed to be lower than the left one.

"Also the nipple looked as if it was inverting. I thought: 'I'll Google an inverted nipple' and one of the things that came up was breast cancer.

"The GP did a really swift examination and said: 'I'm referring you for an emergency appointment'. He didn’t say the words but I had tears in my eyes. When I went back to get the results of the biopsy, he said: ‘It is malignant'.

"I was 46. Initially, I thought I was going to die. We didn't tell our children until we knew it was treatable – they were only eight and 11.

"I had a mastectomy, then I had six cycles of chemotherapy and 30 doses of radiotherapy. From start to finish it was 301 days – and afterwards I felt invincible.

"I could name so many people from all over the world who came to work in the NHS who saved my life.

"I've passed the five-year mark which is a significant milestone. I was on holiday with loads of friends, we raised a glass to the NHS for me being alive.

"I did think I lived life before I had cancer but it was tenfold afterwards. You’ve got to live because you don't know how much time you've got."

Sanjeev Bhaskar

Sanjeev Bhaskar (left) has also contributed to the project (Handout)

Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar - known for roles in Unforgotten and Goodness Gracious Me - struggled with mental health after finding fame.

Despite once being in serious debt, he has never begrudged the NHS a penny and is adamant it should never be privatised.

He says: "My parents wanted me to be a doctor. I've played one on screen and I wonder, do they think I'm taunting them? 'This is what it could have looked like!'

"When I used to think about what made Britain 'Great' it was free education and the NHS. The last couple of years have high-lighted it – across hospitals, GPs, surgeries, clinics and care homes, that extraordinary group of people were doing their jobs under such extreme circumstances.

"Just imagine if the NHS wasn't there, the kind of chaos there would be. Imagine if only people who can afford it get treatment. Even when I was in debt I didn't mind my money going to [it].

"Yes, have the arguments about how it can be improved, but to talk about whether to have it at all or not, is quite frankly, b*****ks.

"I can say that because I have confidence now – thanks to therapy. At that point The Kumars had just started, I'd bought a flat, I was 38. But I still felt like a failure.

"As an Asian male and of that generation, seeing a head doctor was seen as a failure [but] the fact no one else is talking about it doesn't mean they're not feeling it. And I learned you have a right to your emotions."


Rankin (left) is another celebrity involved in the Waiting Room project (Handout)

John Rankin Waddell, better known as Rankin, is one of the world's biggest names in fashion and portrait photography.

At 20, he became an NHS hospital porter to help pay for film supplies. It made a deep and lasting impression on him - and even influenced his future career.

He remembers: "I worked as a theatre porter for a good eight months. It was extraordinary, it was like being dropped into the deep end of reality.

"I was this naive, sweet, chatty, caring person dropped into this hospital and reality hit. I would sometimes do the night shift and I’d have the buzzer for the crash cart.

"I'd have to run down with it and I saw people being let go, essentially. I saw people die and it was a rude awakening.

"But it might have had something to do with me not wanting to become a documentary photographer – because of the harsh reality of working in a hospital, with a very passionate team who were very overworked.

"I've always had a lot of respect for the NHS and the medical community. That respect has really stayed with me."

Find out more from Dr Sukh at

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