Move over Panorama, forget World In Action, step-aside Tonight, Moffatt is on the case…
Over the course of the pandemic, doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ have seen a significant rise in the number of teenagers presenting with Tourette’s syndrome or tic disorders. Now, Scarlett Moffatt wants to find out what is causing this medical mystery.
“I am so grateful to Channel 4, Firecracker and all of our incredible contributors for allowing us to focus a lens on the topic of Tourette’s and tics in teenagers. This show is something I personally feel incredibly passionate about as I suffered with facial tics when diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy as a child and wish there was this kind of information and education available back then as it’s something so many young people have to deal with.”
Scarlett Investigates… will be an unexpectedly personal journey for Scarlett as she herself developed facial tics when she was just 12 years old. Scarlett spent two years of her life with tics that were a result of suffering from Bell’s Palsy.
Typically, doctors would only receive four-six referrals per year which were acute onsets in teenagers; now they receive that many a week. With three in four 13 – 19-year-olds having experienced mental health issues since the start of the pandemic, experts believe one of the main causes of the rise of tics is triggered by anxiety.
Travelling around the country, Scarlett will meet some of those who have recently been diagnosed with the condition as well as scientists grappling with this new phenomenon, a group of Tourette’s TikTok influencers, charity campaigners and the neurologists treating the influx of adolescents.
Exploring whether there’s any past precedence in cases like this, Scarlett will leave no stone unturned as she finds herself in the middle of the debate and researches every potential cause – is it purely a symptom of the pandemic? Does social media have a part to play? Or could it be mass hysteria?
Daniel Fromm, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4:
“We are very grateful to Scarlett Moffatt and Firecracker for going on this deeply personal journey with us. We hope this film and her own insight will shed some much needed light on the rise and impact of Tourette’s on teenagers in the UK.”
Scarlett Investigates… is a one-off programme for Channel 4, but who knows this could be just the start of a new career for the former Goggleboxer.