Channel 4 commissions Mark Austin fronted film on anorexia
Channel 4 have commissioned Brook Lapping to make Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia, a film with award-winning reporter and news presenter Mark Austin exploring the devastating impact of eating disorders in the UK.
In this very personal documentary Mark and his daughter Maddy will draw on their own family’s experience to break the stigma around eating disorders and investigate whether the health care system is providing appropriate care. After they publically spoke out about their experience at the start of 2017 they have been inundated with messages of support from across the country, including HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge. In the film Prince William speaks to Mark and Maddy about his hopes for a more open attitude towards talking about mental health. His mother, Diana Princess of Wales, famously spoke openly about her own struggle with Bulimia.
Mark Austin says: "This was not an easy film to make. But Maddy and I wanted to highlight the crisis in the treatment of eating disorders in many parts of this country. It is an epidemic of our age and it is high time it was talked about as a mental health emergency that needs resources and attention. We hope this helps.”
There are approximately 1.2 million people with eating disorders in the UK, and it is the cause of the highest number of mental health related deaths. In this film, Mark and Maddy meet patients and relatives and explore the lengthy waiting lists for treatment, the extremely limited number of beds for people with eating disorders, the closure of outpatient centres across the country and the so-called postcode lottery which determines the level of care patients receive. Mark & Maddy put these findings to Jeremy Hunt who responds to criticisms about the speed of change in treatment and whether the money allocated to eating disorders is reaching its intended targets.
Channel 4 Deputy Head of News and Current Affairs, Daniel Pearl says, “This is a timely film looking at the impact that NHS cuts have had on mental health treatment in the UK, with a particular focus on eating disorders. Mark and Maddy have been on an incredibly difficult journey and it is extremely brave for both of them to explore such personal matters in this documentary.”
The film will air on Thursday 24th August at 10pm on Channel 4.
Presented by Mark and Maddy Austin
Producer Director Janice Sutherland
Executive Producers Emma Hindley & Lucie Kon