A TESTICULAR cancer survivor who is making a comic tour of the country to raise awareness of the disease visited the North-East yesterday.

Father-of-three Darren Couchman, 35, of Essex, and his best friend, Richard Miller, are visiting places with names that sound like male genitalia.

Mr Couchman discovered a lump in his testicles when he was 27 and was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Seven years later, he and his wife recently had their third child, Ruby, who he describes as a miracle baby.

Mr Couchman and Mr Miller are driving a car covered in slogans that encourage men to be self aware, as early detection of cancer dramatically improves the chance of recovery.

At each stop on the twoweek journey, which has included Bell End, Cocking, Willey, Knutsford and Penistone, they have their photograph taken with a giant pair of fake testicles.

Mr Couchman said as testicular cancer is often seen as an embarrassing illness, he wants to break down that barrier using humour and show men how to carry out self examinations.

Yesterday they visited Cockfield and Willington, in County Durham.

They are also raising funds for The Institute of Cancer Research and the Everyman charity. To make a donation, go to justgiving.com/the testicletour. Mr Couchman has also written a book, called One Lump or Two.