Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Prince William and Harry inspired ITV’s Tom Bradby to open up about personal battle

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Tom Bradby has become a friend of royal brothers Prince William and Harry after he had to go on extended sick leave in 2018. The newsreader revealed he was suffering from crippling insomnia. William and Harry have campaigned for years on the importance of speaking about mental illness and removing the stigma surrounding it.

Speaking out on ‘The Britain Get Talking Podcast’ Tom Bradby describes how he had a “complete meltdown” two years ago which meant he had to take three months off work.

The presenter said his first panic attack caused him to lie on his office floor so he could recover enough to present News at Ten.

He also reveals that he discussed his mental health with Prince William and Prince Harry.

Tom says “Although it was a pretty horrible part of my life, I’m also extremely grateful for it because when you get into a position where you’ve melted down to that degree, all normal life comes to a stop.

“You basically have to shut down your operating systems and reboot them in healthier ways and it makes you psychologically much stronger and much more able to deal with what life throws at you.”

Britain Get Talking is an ITV mental wellness initiative supported by charities Mind and YoungMinds.

Bradby later told them, “This made a big difference to me personally; the things you said made it easier for me to say to my employer, look I’m not well, I need to take three months off.”

“Before that, I genuinely thought, I cannot not go into work because of a mental health issue, that’s ridiculous.”

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Bradby added: “I can remember thinking as I made the call to ITN, ‘I’m kind of OK to admit to this.’

“I think them [Princes William and Harry] speaking out was a game-changer because of their immensely powerful position.

“Also, it’s just logic that they’ve had mental health issues due to their mum’s death — they’d be superhuman if they didn’t.”

Bradby established a warm relationship with the Princess as ITV’s royal correspondent.

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He was asked to conduct the first interview with William and Kate Middleton after they announced their engagement in 2010

Bradby was also invited to their wedding at Westminster Abbey with his wife, Claudia, a jewellery designer, whose father was a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy.

His bond with Harry was so firm that he was asked to present a documentary on the Prince’s official visit to Africa last year in which Meghan voiced her unhappiness with life in the Royal Family.

“Not many people have asked if I’m OK,” she told him.

Harry and Meghan have since stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family and moved to LA.

They have now completed a number of charity events, including a trip to Homeboy Institues cafe last month.

The charity works with ex-gang members and helps to provide food for the vulnerable.

Meghan Markle wowed former gang members on a charity visit to Homeboy Industries when she showed off a skill very few people knew she had.

Founder Father of Homeboy Industries Greg Boyle praised Meghan’s linguistic skills, describing her “perfect” Spanish as a “revelation”.

Boyle said Harry and Meghan had a “wonderful” time visiting Homeboy Industries cafe and bakery last month.

He said: “She spoke Spanish perfectly with one young woman,” he told People.

“She just went right into Spanish, which was a revelation — and it was very good.”

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