Ricky Gervais is backing a new U.K. campaign to raise awareness of lung cancer after losing his mother to the disease.

My mother's death was very sudden and you can't help wondering if things would have been different had it been spotted earlier

The Office star's mum Eva died in 2000 at the age of 74, and Gervais hopes his involvement in the Be Clear on Cancer initiative will alert people to the symptoms.

He says, "It's devastating when you see someone you love dying from lung cancer. It's a horrible, horrible disease.

My mother's death was very sudden and you can't help wondering if things would have been different had it been spotted earlier".

Veteran actress Stefanie Powers, who was diagnosed with a form of the disease in 2009 and subsequently underwent surgery to remove part of her right lung, is also supporting the campaign.