MEN from across East Lancashire are feeling 'Tash-tastic' after taking part in 'Movember'.

From MPs to firefighters and footballers to workers, men have been growing their facial hair for the past month to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

And many of them will be bristling with excitement at the prospect of shaving them off today.

Blackburn Fire Service’s 24 firefighters have raised £500 and although it is for a worthy cause, the men’s facial hair has proven a bugbear.

Firefighter Austin Foy said: “It’s definitely worthwhile, but it’s been really annoying having it attached to your top lip.

“It’s been so itchy, I’m pretty sure we all can’t wait to shave them off.

“Most of our wives and girlfriends can’t wait to see them go either, I know my girlfriend can’t!”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, whose father died of prostate cancer, raised £800 for the charity over the course of the month.

He said: “I’ve gone for the Tom Jones look and kept a bit of a beard as well. I’ve styled myself on his.

“I’ve really enjoyed doing it, quite a few people have said I should keep it, although I don’t think I will be doing.”

A dozen members of staff and a small number of students at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy also grew facial hair for charity.

Principal Brendan Loughran said: “The reason we did it was obviously to raise money for the various cancer charities, but it is equally important to raise awareness among the youngsters we have here.

“We have done this for four years now and most of our students understand there are gender specific cancers and they have to check for the signs.

“The responses to our facial hair have been varied. Some people have been a bit bemused.

“When you walk into the academy and are confronted by someone who looks like they have just stepped out of a spaghetti western it can be a bit strange.

“It is an emotional time here as we all prepare to say goodbye to our moustaches for another 11 months.”

Staff and students at Accrington and Rossendale College contributed their efforts to the cause with mixed feelings.

James Ainsworth, careers guidance officer at the college, said: “Many of my colleagues are desperate to get rid of theirs, but mine has become quite a fixture over the last few weeks, I wouldn’t mind keeping it.”