Tony Slattery to make a film about his mental health struggles | For BBC Two's Horizon strand © BBC

Tony Slattery to make a film about his mental health struggles

For BBC Two's Horizon strand

Tony Slattery is to make a BBC Two film about his 25-year fight with mental health problems.

The comedian’s hour-long documentary will air as part of the flagship Horizon science strand. 

He said: ‘I know that I am not unique in trying to cope with mental ill health and my main hope is that viewers will find the programme informative and helpful. That after all is the point of doing it.’

The programme will tell of how he went from being a familiar face stage and screen after breaking through as an improviser on Channel 4’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? before having a  a breakdown and vanishing from public life. 

Bipolar disorder was discussed but as Slattery was struggling with cocaine and alcohol addiction  it wasn’t possible to make a clear diagnosis.

This film follows Slattery and his partner of 35 years, Mark Hutchinson, as they visit the UK’s leading experts on mood disorders and addiction in the hope of getting some clarity on the problems that have dogged his life.

It will also explore new developments in the science of  complex mood disorders, which Slattery, and others in similar situations, will potentially be able to benefit from. 

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said: ‘This promises to be a highly personal and important film. I hope this film helps break down barriers in our conversations about conditions that impact on so many lives.’

And Katie Buchanan, who is executive producing the film for Sundog Pictured, added: ‘The challenges Tony faces are reflected in the lives of countless other people with mental health and addiction issues who may not have received a clear diagnosis or been able to access the right support. 

‘We, like Tony, hope that the film will reduce stigma, help others in similar situations and bring to the fore what it is like to live with such complex mental health issues.’

Published: 14 Nov 2019

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