‘Prince Harry was right!’ Robert Webb stunned by ‘power of royalty’ in mental health push
Strictly: Janette announces Robert Webb has quit show
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Comedian Mr Webb yesterday withdrew from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health. In a statement the Peep Show actor said: “I am extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing. “Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off more than I can chew for this stage in my recovery.”
He revealed that he had begun to feel symptoms that led him to seek an urgent consultation with a heart specialist, who recommended the comic quit the show for the sake of his health.
Mr Webb added that he was proud of the three dances he and Dianne Buswell performed, adding he “couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher.”
The couple had impressed the judges, scoring 27 for their tango in week two, with Mr Webb also praised for his “composure” and “character”.
On last Saturday’s show they fared less well, dancing a quickstep to the Muppet Show theme tune dressed as Kermit and Miss Piggy, but still garnered enough votes from viewers to avoid a dance off.
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Mr Webb who made his name alongside comic partner David Mitchell in Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, released a memoir in 2017 that sought to tackle men’s mental health and toxic masculinity.
In ‘How Not To Be A Boy’, the comedian writes about everything from suicidal thoughts, the death of his mother and drinking too much.
Yet, the same year Mr Webb spoke about his own mental health, William and Harry also opened up on the subject.
Mr Webb was stunned by the enormous impact the princes had on the issue.
He wrote an article for the New Statesman entitled: ‘Prince Harry was right to speak about his mental health. No one should ‘man up’.”
He joked in the piece: “You think you’ve got something radical to say and then two princes of the realm go and agree with you. Terrific. Thanks, lads.
“I’ve never claimed to have much street cred but this is the limit.
“I’ve written a funny book about the harmful restrictions of masculinity and now, apparently, it comes with implicit royal approval.”
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Mr Webb was struck by the positive reaction received by the princes adding: “The reaction has been broadly positive and I’m glad.
“The man and women who can usually be relied on to tell other people to ‘man up’ or ‘grow a pair’ have shown a surprising ability to shut the hell up.
“The power of royalty eh? When the message comes from an actor, the defenders of old gender roles have some kind of fit.
“When it comes from a couple of princes who also happen to be trained soldiers, The Man is given reason to pause. Good.”
In 2017 Prince Harry revealed the struggles he faced dealing with his mother, Princess Diana’s death in 1997, in a podcast interview with Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon.
Soon after Prince William warned of the dangers of keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’ and stressed that in the UK suicide was the biggest killer of men under 45.
The two princes along with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, became part of the Heads Together campaign in 2016 which has subsequently encouraged people to have important conversations about mental health.
In Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s mental health documentary, The Me You Can’t See, released in May this year the Prince discussed the severe anxiety and panic attacks he suffered in his twenties.
He admitted he self medicated, claiming: “I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do all the things that made me feel less like I was feeling.”
He also spoke of the unresolved anger he felt since his mother’s death.
He said: “I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all.”
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