Joe Wicks has opened up about his difficult upbringing, attitude to mental health and working with Louis Theroux ahead of a new documentary airing on Monday night.
Joe Wicks: Exploring My Childhood opens the door to conversations about mental health and family relationships amid struggles, following Joe’s own journey as a child with parents who both suffered from mental health issues.
The fitness instructor, who received an MBE after helping the nation stay fit with virtual PE lessons during lockdown, will attempt to come to terms with his childhood and spark open conversations about vulnerabilities in the new programme.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk ahead of the documentary airing, the Body Coach shared: ‘It’s got a lot of heavy content, but it’s done in a really lovely way, and at the end of it, it has a really positive, uplifting message.
‘We created it a year and a half ago, and it’s quite an intense, emotional thing to do, but now it’s exciting and I just can’t wait to share it with the world.’
Joe was brought up by parents who struggled with their mental health, with his mother suffering from acute OCD and his father battling heroin addiction, both of which he first discussed in detail on his BBC R4 Desert Island Discs appearance in June 2020.
Speaking about his parents’ reaction about the ‘heavy content’ regarding their family being shared in the documentary, Joe said: ‘At first, they weren’t completely sure what it was all about, and when I explained to them that this is about sharing our message, and if we share our storyline and show that we’ve been through these struggles, but we come out of it and we’re a really close family, and we’ve repaired those relationships that were quite difficult at times, it would be a positive thing.
‘My mum was more reluctant because she’s quite shy and she felt quite exposed, but after watching it she loved it. It’s really uplifting and she’s really proud that we’ve been able to share this because it’s going to help so many families.’
Both of Joe’s parents suffered with their mental health while raising him and his brother (Picture: BBC The One Show)
The documentary has been commissioned by the BBC with documentary maker Louis on board as the executive producer.
Speaking about creating the project with the journalist and presenter, who has previously labelled it a ‘dream project’, Joe shared: ‘Louis Theroux I found out was doing my PE with Joe workouts during lockdown, and I was so excited and so happy he was doing them, so I invited him on my podcast as a guest.
‘And he said, “If you ever want to share your story, and you want to do a documentary, let’s …read more
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