Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Archers star Sara Coward unveils kindness campaign after being diagnosed with terminal illness

Sara-Coward-743586.jpg

The Archers star Sara Coward has revealed details of a social media campaign geared towards kindness, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 

The 68 year old, who’s played Caroline Sterling in the Radio 4 drama since 1977, was diagnosed with an inoperable strain of the disease after she went to doctors about an unusual pain in her right arm in September last year. 

And she’s now launched a remarkable new social media campaign, Sm:)E, which encourages people to smile at one another more often, in a bid to leave the world “a kinder place”.


Read more: Farewell poetry and readings to remember loved ones by


Coward hopes the hashtag #milesofsmiles will go viral, urging people to share stories about a kind act or good deed they have accomplished in the past few hours, and raise “1000 miles of smiles in the process”.

“I’ve recently discovered I don’t have long to live, but in the last few months I’ve found myself smiling more than at any other time in my life,” she explained to The Express. “Why? Because I have become much more aware of the random acts of kindness around me, and how important it is to be pleasant to everyone you meet.

“I believe this is something we can all do, whatever our circumstances. And I think it’s something our world needs right now.”

Sara Coward has played Caroline Sterling in Radio 4’s The Archers since 1977

Sara Coward has played Caroline Sterling in Radio 4’s The Archers since 1977

While she hoped to keep her illness as private as possible, Coward was forced to inform her BBC bosses about the news – and called upon them to keep her character alive after she has gone.

Speaking to the Radio Times from her palliative care home in Leamington Spa, Coward said: “The first they [her BBC colleagues] knew was when I sent them an email in October. I don't know what they're going to do with the character but I do hope they don't write her out.

“I'd like them to find someone else to play her.”


Read more: Six people diagnosed with a terminal illness reveal what’s really important


The actor went on to say that Belinda Carroll, the real-life wife of Michael Cochrane, the actor who plays her on-screen husband Oliver Sterling, would be perfect.  

Coward added that she has “no interest in being remembered”. “I would prefer it to be over quickly,” she said.

The Archers airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC Radio 4. 

Related

lindsay norris.jpg

Oncology nurse pens apology to patients after own cancer diagnosis

rexfeatures_7550764ar.jpg

Liam Neeson wants people to talk to their children about death

d9300f60481794c6aa56320a53140427.jpg

People diagnosed with a terminal illness share powerful life lessons

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Ellen Degeneres’ sweet anniversary message to Pink keeping it real

by Nicola Colyer
17 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017