Great Britain

Ian Wright to explore his ‘abusive’ childhood in BBC documentary

IF next year’s TV Baftas do go ahead, I suggest Ian Wright buys a new tux.

I’m told the football legend is working on a hard-hitting documentary for BBC1 that will surely sweep up at the awards.

The one-off film, currently untitled, looks at domestic abuse and will see former England and Arsenal hitman Ian recall his own childhood experiences.

Wrighty will speak to victims and abusers as he visits locations in London where he grew up.

A source said: “Ian is known for his easy-going nature and infectious laugh which has made him one of the nation’s favourite footballers and TV pundits.

“But behind the smiles lies an incredibly traumatic child­hood which Ian wants to tell in his own words. He had an abusive stepfather who would cruelly make him face the wall when Match Of The Day was on.

“This isn’t just about Wrighty, though. It’s to give a voice to victims of abuse and to give them hope.

“It’s also incredibly rare to see a black man talking about these experiences. He hopes that will remove some of the taboo around topics like abuse. It’s going to be a powerful piece of work.”

I met Wrighty last year when he took part in I’m A Celebrity, having idolised his every move on telly as a lad.

I am glad to report he was everything I’d hoped he would be and more. This incredibly important documentary will only add to that.

Seek help

If you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse, call The Survivor’s Trust on 0808 801 0818 or go to thesurvivorstrust.org

Denise the ice maden

Dancing On Ice contestant Denise Van Outen got her skates on to avoid breaking Boris’s 10pm curfew.

She performed at her cabaret show on Saturday watched by Jess Wright, Duncan James and Dr Ranj.

Then she donned a dress and boots and left London’s Proud Embankment. She’ll hope her stint on the ice isn’t as quick as her change of outfit.

Elaine has roll in life

NATIONAL treasure Elaine Paige will be swapping Memories for munchies in an entertaining new telly role.

The West End favourite, famed for being in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, will feature as a pothead at age 72 in new BBC1 drama Life.

Elaine stars as a wild pal of the show’s main characters, played by Gavin & Stacey actress Alison Steadman and former Doctor Who Peter Davison.

One scene sees Elaine roll a spliff then offer it around, cheekily adding: “If anyone asks, it’s medicinal.”

A TV insider said: “Elaine was keen to break type by playing such a free-spirited character and showing that age is but a number.”

Life is Mike Bartlett’s long-awaited Doctor Foster spin-off and sees The Crown’s Victoria Hamilton reprise her role as Anna – now going by the name Belle – the neighbour of Suranna Jones’ cheated physician.

The show begins tomorrow at 9pm. You’re ganja love it.

Count me in, Claes

CLAES Bang’s steamy Count Dracula sent pulses racing earlier this year.
But even the immortal vampire can’t escape Covid.

The star of the gothic BBC drama reckons pulling the team back together for a second series is just too hard.

In an exclusive chat ahead of his new film The Bay Of Silence, out today, he said: “It is completely up in the air. It lies with some big executive producers at BBC and Netflix. I pray and hope they arrive at the decision that we do a second series.”

If given a chance Bang would love to return as the bisexual bloodsucker. He said: “Oh my God, yes. What an immense joy to do that.”

I reckon that as the count’s on board, the others should follow sharpish.

Tik Tok is top rank

CELEB snapper Rankin reckons we may be seeing the end of the selfie. The photographer – full name John Rankin Waddell – is known for his work with David Bowie and Madonna, and thinks TikTok is forcing ­overly-filtered stars to “become more authentic”.

Ahead of his Sky Arts show Rankin’s 2020, which starts tomorrow, he said: “There’s a lot of people trying comedy (on TikTok), trying to do storytelling about their families, about how they feel.

“It’s much more intelligent than selfies because it’s the next iteration of it, but it’s more you have to construct something.”

Rankin’s six-part series will see how the public captured 2020 in more than 12,000 photos, which he’ll judge with celeb pals.

Aubameyang talks to Ian Wright on live Instagram after signing new contract with Arsenal

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