Becoming Dad to be aired on BBC One
On Wednesday 26th January 2022, the BBC will broadcast Becoming Dad – the first TV documentary of its kind to bring issues around dads’ mental health, equal parenting, work- life balance and masculinity to the mainstream.
Becoming Dad is a primetime show and will be broadcast on BBC One in the South-East England region. It marks the launch of We Are England: a new BBC One current affairs series that reflects voices and issues across the country.
The documentary follows Elliott Rae as he makes his TV presenter debut. Elliott is the curator of the bestselling book DAD, a speaker on fatherhood, mental health and masculinity and founder of musicfootballfatherhood.com, the UK’s most exciting parenting platform for men.
Elliott was diagnosed with PTSD after the traumatic birth of his daughter. It is that experience which has led him to dedicate his life’s work to create spaces for more open conversations around fatherhood.
The show highlights the experiences and statistics around dads’ mental health and shines a light on how we can all play a part to recognise the importance of dads, de-gender parenting, challenge outdated stereotypes and support dads to be involved parents in the home.
Recent research shows that 1 in 10 new dads will experience some symptoms of post-natal depression and 39% of expectant dads are concerned about their mental health (stats from Fathers Reaching Out report). The mental health of men is still overlooked with suicide remaining the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, and 12.5% of men in the UK suffering from depression and anxiety. New dads are particularly vulnerable as financial and work pressures coupled with a huge life change can have a significant impact. Dad’s poor mental health has significant negative impacts on support for mothers and the development of children.
Becoming Dad aims to raise awareness around the changing expectations that modern dads face. In the show, Elliott asks challenging questions of workplaces, government, the NHS and society as a whole about what more can be done to ensure dads are supported and considered in decision-making.
This emotional, raw and moving documentary invites viewers to follow Elliott as he relives his daughter’s traumatic birth with his wife, talks to his own dad about their relationship, and meets with expectant dads to talk about their anxieties and concerns.
The show also highlights Elliott’s culture-shifting work through MusicFootballFatherhood, including a pivotal moment at the stadium of Championship football club Queens Park Rangers, where Dads from all backgrounds share their parenting challenges in an extremely moving conversation.
Elliott said: “As a collective we need to do more to recognise the challenges modern dads face and raise awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues. We need to do more to challenge gendered parenting roles and move away from the concept that caring is for women and being the main breadwinner is for men – those outdated stereotypes are damaging for everyone: men, women and children. Becoming Dad is a programme about love, openness and vulnerability in the quest to be the best dads we can be for our families.”
Elliott is available for interview, written articles and appearances. firstname.lastname@example.org | 07944 554 101 | #BecomingDad #WeAreEngland
Notes for editor About Elliott Rae
Elliott Rae is a husband, dad, speaker, author and founder of MusicFootballFatherhood.com (MFF), the parenting platform for men. MFF is all about open conversations around fatherhood and was described as the ‘Dad’s version of Mumsnet’ by the BBC. Elliott started MFF in 2016 after suffering from PTSD after the traumatic birth of his daughter.
MFF aims to provide a space for dads to share the ups and downs of parenting and promote a positive representation of diverse fatherhood. This is done through our popular blog which has 100s of articles written by dads, the Daddy Debates podcast which hosts in-depth chats with dads about different fatherhood related topics, monthly online peer sessions for new dads called The Lodge and event partnerships with football clubs called Extra Time.
Elliott has previously held senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion roles, recent positions include the head of race equality in Defra and the Head of D&I delivery at HM Treasury.
Elliott is one of the UK’s most prominent speakers and writers on topics around fatherhood, masculinity, mental health, equal parenting and gender equality. He regularly host webinars and workshops with organisations about how they can support working dads, redefine masculinity and create a family friendly workplace. Recent clients include Ford, Siemans, Co-op, Allen & Overy, BT, HSBC and Glaxo GSK.
Elliott’s work in engaging men in conversations around gender equality has been recognised by the United Nations and he was awarded the UN Women UK’s #HeForShe ‘Changemaker of the Year’ award in 2019.
Elliott curated MFF’s first book entitled ‘DAD: untold stories of fatherhood, love, mental health and masculinity’ which is a deeply moving and inspiring collection of 20 stories that represent the diversity of modern fatherhood and seeks to start a conversation that challenges the traditions associated with masculinity.
DAD was published on Tuesday 1st June 2021. It is an Amazon Top 10 bestseller and a Top 20 bestseller on The Hive. Elliott even managed to hand deliver a copy of DAD to Prince William!