Rio Ferdinand embarks on an intensely personal journey to explore how bereaved parents come to terms with loss and mould new lives for themselves and their children, in poignant documentary to be shown on BBC One on Tuesday, March 28 at 9pm.
In May 2015, the life of the former Manchester United and England footballer changed forever when his wife Rebecca passed away from breast cancer, aged just 34.
In this one-off 60-minute documentary, Ferdinand explores ways of managing grief – including his own – and discovers that the best way for parents to help their children move on with their lives is to first rebuild their own.
“I don’t think I’ve grieved properly. I’ve not given myself that time to sit down and really flush everything out and go through it,” says Ferdinand in the documentary.
The film follows Ferdinand as he meets other families coping with bereavement and looks at what help is available for parents and children who have experienced loss.
With around 75 men aged under 50 becoming widowers every day in the UK, this intimate film also offers a broader insight into how young husbands and fathers cope with grief, as Rio speaks to other bereaved men who share their experiences.
By exploring the complex issues around grief, the stigma men often face in displaying and discussing their emotions, and discovering some of the ways people cope with loss, the film highlights the additional obstacles bereaved men can face.
Alison Kirkham, Controller of Factual Commissioning and Events, says: “Rio Ferdinand has courageously allowed the cameras to follow him in this revealing and immensely personal documentary exploring the complexities of grief.
“This candid film will offer BBC One audiences an intimate exploration of the ways in which men similarly bereaved cope with their loss.”
Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad airs on Tuesday, March 27, at 9pm on BBC One (10.45pm in Northern Ireland).
The documentary will also be available to watch across all platforms via BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.
If you or someone you know has been affected by bereavement, organisations listed on the BBC Information and Support website may be able to help.