"I don't think they'll ever find a cure for cancer. I don't think they want to find a cure": Roger Daltrey questions Big Pharma as he nears the end of his time at the Teenage Cancer Trust

Roger Daltrey studio portrait
(Image credit: Roger Daltrey)

The Who's Roger Daltrey is coming to the end of his hugely successful 24-year stewardship of the Teenage Cancer Trust's annual charity shows, and his latest round of press interviews find him in typically sceptical form. 

Speaking with The Times [paywalled link] about his time in charge of the Trust, Daltrey – whose sister died from breast cancer aged just 32 – expresses reservations about the scientific establishment's approach to finding a cure for the disease. 

“I don’t think they’ll ever find a cure for cancer,” says Daltrey. “I don’t think they want to find a cure. I’m being cynical here, but scientists look after the science but they also look after themselves. You do imagine if they did find a cure tomorrow it would be fabulous for the country, but there’d be an awful lot of scientists out of work. You might think I’m being cynical, but I do think that.”

Daltrey goes on to reiterate that so-called 'Big Pharma' has more to lose than it does to gain by finding a cure.

“It’s just human nature, isn’t it?", he says. "You’re not going to invent something that’s going to put you out of work.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Daltrey reveals that he's looking for an actor to play late Who drummer Keith Moon in a forthcoming biopic. Daltrey has co-written the script for the film with Nigel Hinton, author of the Buddy trilogy for teenage readers, and the Beaver Towers stories for younger children. 

“It will be a psychological film about the guy who I thought was one of the funniest people I ever met,” says Daltrey. “But yes, he was also an addict and addiction is a waste of a life."

Joining The Who at Daltrey's final Teenage Cancer Trust shows at London's Royal Albert Hall in March will be Robert Plant with Saving Grace, Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers and more. Full details below.

Teenage Cancer Trust: 2024 Royal Albert Hall Schedule

Mar 18: The Who with Orchestra, with special guests Squeeze
Mar 19: Evening Of Comedy - line-up tba
Mar 20: The Who with Orchestra, with very special guests Squeeze
Mar 21: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with very special guests Blossoms
Mar 22: Young Fathers plus special guests
Mar 23: The Chemical Brothers
Mar 24: Ovation - A Celebration of 24 Years of Gigs For Teenage Cancer Trust' with Roger Daltrey, Kelly Jones, Robert Plant with Saving Grace, Pete Townshend, Eddie Vedder, Paul Weller

Tickets are on sale now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.