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Roman Kemp to make doc about mental health and suicide following death of friend

His friend and radio producer Joe Lyons died last year.


Roman Kemp (Ian West/PA)

Roman Kemp (Ian West/PA)

Roman Kemp (Ian West/PA)

Roman Kemp will present a documentary about mental health and suicide in young men following the death of his best friend Joe Lyons.

The Capital Breakfast DJ was devastated by the death of the radio producer in August last year, who he described as his “absolute brother”.

The BBC Three documentary Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency will examine the issue of young men’s mental health and explore why increasing numbers are taking their own lives and the reasons why so many of them never ask for help.

Kemp will investigate what can be done to encourage people to seek help, what preventative action needs to be taken and the lasting impact mental health and suicide can have on friends and families.

He said: “There is a growing mental health crisis going on right now, and without the right support, the results can be tragic.

“I hope that by making this documentary for BBC Three we can bring attention to a subject that is affecting thousands of young men across the country, and show that there are ways to reach those who are suffering and need our help.”

Kemp wiped away tears as he addressed Lyons’ death on his radio show last year, when he said: “He was kind, caring, loved dogs, he was obsessed with his daily step count. He never ironed his clothes, he loved his family so much.”

He added: “He was playful, he was silly and that is how we are going to remember him and that is how we would like you to remember him.

“He’s my absolute brother and I never thought I would have to be doing this on the radio.”

BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell said: “Because mental health is such an important issue for our audience, we feel it is our duty at BBC Three to continue making films on the subject in the hope that we can offer solutions and provide some help for people who are struggling.

“This will be a really difficult film for Roman to make and we owe him and everyone else involved a huge thank you for putting trust in us to tell their stories.”

Nic Patten, the film’s executive producer, said: “The impact of the mental health crisis on this country’s younger generation is devastating, both on those who are struggling and their friends, peers and families.

“We are extremely grateful to Roman and everyone taking part for bravely making a film that encourages a conversation around this urgent and crucial issue.”


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