Professor Green, aka Stephen Manderson, is to front a BBC Three documentary on suicide.
“If anything comes from this documentary it’s that we should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to open up and talk to those around us about our feelings, in particular young men. Collectively we need to break the stigma surrounding suicide.” – Professor Green, aka Stephen Manderson
Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 45 in Britain. There are around 6,000 deaths every year, with a 4:1 ratio of men to women the Office for National Statistics log. This makes suicide both a national crisis and a gender issue.
Stephen was 24 when his father took his own life. His hits Read All About It, Lullaby and Goodnight give a glimpse into this tragic event. This documentary will follow Stephen on an intensely personal journey as he discovers the circumstances around his estranged father’s death – and uncovers a life packed with its own tragedy and loss.
“When the opportunity to front a BBC documentary on the topic of suicide presented itself I knew it would be a tough subject to tackle. Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 45 and yet when you present people with this fact they are completely shocked. The truth is, suicide is still considered a taboo subject but it shouldn’t be. Not only is this a deeply personal journey for me but also I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing people along the way with their own incredibly moving stories as well as those who are creating public awareness around the topic of suicide. – Professor Green, aka Stephen Manderson
Stephen’s story is not unique. During the film he meets with families who live day to day with the ‘bombshell’ of a suicide, and those who have been pulled back from the brink, and enters some of Britain’s specialized homes dedicated to the suicidal. What emerges is a clear picture: there is a fear of seeking help or talking about emotion among British men – and a suicide taboo that can only be broken by talking.
“BBC Three has a history of making thought-provoking, hard-hitting documentaries and Stephen’s documentary on suicide follow firmly in that vein. These are exactly the kinds of programme BBC Three should be making now and in the future. If we’re given permission by the Trust to move online we would then be able to do more around documentaries like this with different types of content that appeal to younger audiences. This could include short-form video, authored pieces or interviews with contributors that have true public service value and give young people more from BBC Three. – Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three