What's The Matter With Tony Slattery?. Tony Slattery
What's The Matter With Tony Slattery?

What's The Matter With Tony Slattery?

  • TV documentary
  • BBC Two
  • 2020
  • 1 episode (1 series)

Documentary in which Tony Slattery looks at his mental health. Also features Mark Hutchinson, Stephen Fry, Guy Goodwin, Julia Sinclair, Ciaran Mulholland and more.

What's The Matter With Tony Slattery?. Image shows from L to R: Tony Slattery, Stephen Fry

Key details

Tony Slattery, Mark Hutchinson, Stephen Fry, Guy Goodwin, Julia Sinclair, Ciaran Mulholland, Robert Ross and Denise Gough
Clare Richards
Clare Richards, Katie Buchanan and Alan Holland

Tony Slattery was one of the most gifted comedians of the late 80s and early 90s. One of the Cambridge Footlight set that included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson, he became a household name on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Then in 1996, amid rumours of a breakdown, he seemed to vanish from our screens overnight.

Now, as he approaches 60, Tony has been touring the country with a show that explores his past and his mental health. Diagnosed with depression, he and his partner of over 30 years Mark Hutchinson have always been convinced there was more to it. At the time of his breakdown nearly 25 years ago, Bipolar disorder was discussed but never confirmed. Now Tony wants to have his mental health reassessed to see if he can finally get a definitive diagnosis, and visits Professor Guy Goodwin, one of the world's leading experts on the condition.

Like so many people who have complex mental health issues, Tony isn't going to be easy to diagnose. Bipolar disorder is characterised by severe and disabling highs and lows over which the sufferer has little control. Tony kicked his cocaine habit decades ago but alcohol still plays a part in his daily life, leading Professor Goodwin to bring in Professor Julia Sinclair, an expert in addiction and mental health.

Tony's partner Mark has been witness to Tony's illness for decades and believes a traumatic experience in Tony's childhood could be affecting him. New science confirms that people with bipolar are over 2.5 times more likely to have suffered physical or mental abuse as a child, so whilst in Belfast they visit an expert in childhood trauma, Professor Ciaran Mulholland, which results in Tony revealing and extraordinarily raw and painful childhood trauma.

On their return Professor Goodwin calls them back in. Can he confirm a diagnosis, and will Tony finally be able to access the support he needs?

Additional details

Also known as
  • Horizon: Whatever Happened To Tony Slattery? (Working title)
Camera set-up
Single camera

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 21st May 2020 at 9pm on BBC Two
Episode length
1 hour
All previous repeats
  • Friday 5th June 2020 at 12:30am on BBC2
  • Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 11:30pm on BBC2

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