Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
Former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff will probe what lies beneath the glossy veneer of the professional sporting world by exploring its relationship with depression in a new one-off documentary for BBC One.
In The Dark Side Of Sport, Freddie will embark on a journey to learn more about depression, its presence in sport and the measures that can be taken to help players who suffer with this debilitating illness. Freddie has first-hand experience of this area having watched various sporting colleagues battle privately with the illness throughout their careers.
Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, says: "Depression affects many people throughout the UK. It's a subject we avoid talking about, particularly in sport where it is becoming increasingly prevalent. Freddie Flintoff has witnessed its sometimes devastating effects during his own glittering and explosive cricketing career. Both Freddie and director Jim Loach will bring a fresh and sensitive approach to this subject for BBC One viewers."
Freddie will meet sportsmen and women past and present, from those who lost careers through depression to those driven to the edge. He will examine and question the role of journalists and fans who expect their heroes to perform at the highest level, no matter what. In an era of multi-million pound deals where image and reputation are everything, who picks up the pieces when it all becomes just too much? Freddie asks what can be done to help support and protect our athletes.
Gabe Turner, producer for Fulwell 73 Productions, says: "We are thrilled to have Freddie on board for this exciting project and feel that this subject matter will allow viewers to see a more serious side to this national icon."
The Dark Side Of Sport (1x60) was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, and will be executive produced by Leo Pearlman for Fulwell 73 Productions and Maxine Watson for the BBC. The film will be produced by Gabe Turner and directed by Jim Loach.
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