Joey Essex is filming an agonising BBC documentary on the effect of his mum’s suicide when he was just ten

JOEY ESSEX seems like the happy-go-lucky star from Towie – but a new BBC documentary will reveal that he is really a complex guy in turmoil.

It includes footage of psychotherapy sessions where the reality favourite opens his heart about the trauma of his mum, Tina, taking her own life when he was ten.

In the show, Joey Essex: Who Am I?, an expert reveals how, as an adult, he has created a series of personality “masks” to help him deal with the heartbreak he endured as a child.

The aim is to help the Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins contestant move forward with his life.

Joey said: “This documentary is really close to my heart. Going on this journey to find the real me will be a personal challenge.

“But I hope it also highlights how important it is that other people who have experienced trauma know that they’re not alone.”

The one-off BBC Three documentary is due to air this autumn.

It will explain why Joey may seem to enjoy fame and fortune, but how he still struggles because he never processed the death of his mum in 2001, which came after a battle with depression.

A spokeswoman for the show said: “Behind the picture-perfect exterior is a man whose life and identity are in turmoil.

“Like so many kids affected by sudden trauma, he learnt to hide his true feelings behind a series of ‘masks’ — the joker, the charmer and the TV heart-throb.

“Joey’s found it increasingly difficult to drop the act and truly be himself. He realises that it’s now time to confront his trauma.”

As painful as this sounds, I hope the documentary finally brings him the happiness he deserves.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

Mo in big brekkie return

The Big Breakfast is returning to Channel 4 next summer after 18 years off screen.

The show, fronted by Mo Gilligan, will be back for a one-off episode as part of the Black Takeover Day, which will see C4’s schedules filled with shows made by and starring black talent.

He said: “Like so many of us, I loved The Big Breakfast. I am so grateful to be asked to host this special event.”

C4’s Director of Programmes Ian Katz has also announced a range of new dramas including My Name Is Lizzie, based on the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992, and The Birth Of Daniel F Harris, about a boy shut off from the world.

It also revealed the return of The National Comedy Awards, which will form part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign in March.

But Derry Girls will have to be postponed indefinitely due to issues with social distancing while filming.

Cath and city are united

Catherine Tyldesley is heading back to Manchester just two years after leaving Coronation Street.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant is due to appear in ITV drama Viewpoint, which is set in the same city as the Weatherfield soap.

Catherine, who played Eva Price in Corrie, will star opposite Noel Clarke as DC Martin King, and Zoe Sterling as a mum whose home becomes the base for a police surveillance operation after a teacher disappears.

It is a particularly lucky casting for Catherine as Viewpoint is the first ITV drama to go into production since lockdown restrictions were eased.


Jordan Hames is now swamped with messages since posing on social media with his puppy.

On BBC 1xtra’s Slide Into My Podcast, the former Love Islander said: “She gets me the DMs and I clean up her s**t. It’s a perfect relationship.”

Cara Delevigne is to host a BBC Three documentary called Planet Sex, exploring questions on sexuality.

The model and actress will “open herself up to experiments and demonstrations in the world’s leading sex research labs”.

Finn pride with Paige

Love Island hunk Finn Tapp still sounds chuffed he has ended up dating model Paige Turley after they won last year’s show.

But he seems less impressed with the fact she used to date Someone You Loved singer Lewis Capaldi.

Speaking at the Dream Screen launch, Finn said: “Everyone has a past and that’s the way it is. No one really mentions the Lewis connection and my pals never do really, so it doesn’t really come up too much.

“I don’t think Paige is still in touch with him. I don’t know if Lewis is kicking himself now but I am the one with Paige.”

I guess the world-famous pop star will just have to console himself with huge record sales and two wins at this year’s Brit Awards.

Real pal is a Perk

While many comedy couples are notorious for not getting on when out of the limelight, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are genuine pals on and off screen.

Tonya Cornelisse, their co-star on Sky One’s Hitmen – which has just been renewed for a second series – revealed the pair cheerily debate politics and telly when the cameras aren’t rolling.

She said: “They make it happen to work together – and why wouldn’t you work with your best mate?”


WHAT? Harlots, BBC2, 9.45pm.

WHY? Finale of the first series sees central character Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) find an unlikely saviour after ending up in prison for murder.

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