BBC to air A Royal Team Talk
What would happen if you put HRH The Duke of Cambridge in a locker room with some of the most famous faces from the world of football? The answer? One extraordinary conversation about the importance of men’s mental health and mental fitness.
Next Sunday 19 May the BBC will air A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, a candid film presented by Dan Walker, part of the BBC’s wider Mental Health season. The one-off film sees the Duke join Peter Crouch, Danny Rose, Thierry Henry, Jermaine Jenas and Gareth Southgate for a truly revealing discussion on issues from depression and racism to career-ending injury and emotional pressures - all to try to make a difference to the way men talk about mental health.
Filmed earlier this month at the grounds of Cambridge United Football Club, which is pioneering what it means to be a mentally healthy football club, the Duke and footballers are joined by four football fans, Tom, Steve, Paul and Mark. They head to the ground thinking they’ve been invited to speak about their own struggles with mental health - unaware that they’re about to come face to face with some of their footballing icons.
HRH The Duke Of Cambridge says: “Men are the hardest to reach audience on the subject of mental health. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 45, and that’s an appalling statistic. There needs to be a turning point where we can pass the message onto men everywhere that it's okay to talk about mental health. We have to normalise the whole conversation.”
Gareth Southgate says: “We’ve got to try to help and support each other. Football generally has had a culture of maybe not opening up about anything in your life, without being seen as being weak for doing that. I think it’s key that that isn’t a weakness, it’s actually a strength that you’re confident enough to talk about those things openly.”
Jermaine Jenas says: “My biggest hope for this is that a conversation will be had. The rate of male suicide has gone through the roof, so it’s great that we’re having this chat.”
Alison Kirkham, Controller, BBC Factual Commissioning, says: “This extraordinary programme allows the audience to eavesdrop on an honest, vulnerable and intimate conversation which highlights a pressing need for men to take time to talk about their mental health. I’m grateful to all involved in this project - from Royalty to footballing legends to the four football fans - for talking so frankly about their own experiences.”