Joe Wicks tugged at the heartstrings of BBC viewers on Monday night they tuned in to watch his emotional documentary Facing My Childhood.
The hour-long feature looked back at his experience of growing up with a mother stricken with obsessive compulsive disorder and a father addicted to heroin.
Exploring the impact it had on his life, the fitness guru, 36, confronted his past and engaged in candid conversations with family and friends.
Inspiration: Joe Wicks has been branded a ‘national treasure’ and an ‘incredible human being’ by fans following his emotional documentary Facing My Childhood
Joe, also known as The Body Coach, was captured on numerous occasions wiping away tears, and his raw emotion evoked plenty of feelings from viewers at home, who rushed to brand him a national treasure.
One moved fan said they were in awe of the father of two: ‘Joe Wicks… you are absolutely amazing & incredibly inspiring. If you missed @thebodycoach #joewicksfacingmychildhood then please catch it on @BBCiPlayer and share it far & wide.
‘I’m so in awe. Keep spreading the love Joe! You are an incredible human being x’.
Moving: The hour-long feature looked back at his experience of growing up with parents who struggled with OCD and addiction, and explored the impact the experiences have had on his life
Important: The fitness guru, 36, bravely confronted his past and engaged in candid conversations with family and friends
Emotional: Joe, also known as The Body Coach, was captured on numerous occasions wiping away tears
Another lauded the programme for highlighting a ‘real, raw current issue,’ going on to add they hope ‘it helps break the stigma’.
Joe took to social media himself to thank fans for their support and told them he is ‘in a much more positive place with it all.’
In a four-part thread, the lockdown hero wrote: ‘I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all of you for tuning into my documentary on BBC1 this evening.
Affected: Joe’s raw emotion evoked plenty of feelings from viewers at home, who rushed to brand him a national treasure
‘The intention of this documentary is to open up conversations around mental health and highlight the support which is out there if you are struggling…
‘It’s so important we talk about our issues and remove the shame, guilt and stigma from mental illness and addiction. I really hope the documentary has helped you in some way but if you need more help and support please visit http://bbc.co.uk/actionline.
‘There you will find links to all the relevant charities and services you may need. Just a heads up regarding my own personal mental health. Since filming the documentary last year I have found a much better balance with my phone and social media…
‘I am in a much more positive place with it all. It was a very emotional process but I’ve come away from it feeling stronger and more positive. Thanks again for all your support. Much love Joe x’
Making a change: Joe took to social media himself to thank fans for their support and told them he is ‘in a much more positive place with it all’
Speaking on This Morning on Monday to promote the film, Joe said he suffered with constant anxiety as a child while growing up with his heroin addict dad and his mum, who suffered with severe OCD.
Joe admitted he can’t imagine his own young children, Indigo, three, and two-year-old Marley, having to care for their parents like he had to.
Speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about his childhood, Joe said he originally thought the film would focus on others, in an extension of his work during the pandemic to help families through his online PE lessons.
Dad: Speaking on This Morning to promote the film, Joe admitted he can’t imagine his own children, Indigo, three, and Marley, two, having to care for their parents like he had to (pictured with Indigo)
‘There’s stuff locked inside you as a kid that you suppress and you don’t want to confront. I found it really difficult doing this documentary. It was, in my head, going to be about other families, mental health in the UK – “how can we improve that?” but it became a really personal thing.’
He added, ‘All of those experiences I’ve been through have shaped who I am today. It’s given me that drive and empathy to want to help others and even share this story. There’s a reason I’m doing it – I want to help others.’
Family: Joe’s mother Raquela left him in the care of his heroin addict father Gary when he was 12 years old in order to get help for her OCD (pictured with his mother and brother Nikki)
Joe’s mother Raquela left him in the care of his heroin addict father Gary when he was 12 years old in order to get help for her OCD.
Joe has lauded his mother for being ‘brave’ enough to get the help she needed in the form of five months of therapy, while his older brother Nikki, 38, tried to shelter him from the daily horrors of living with their addict father.
He explained how his mother feared he and his brothers would be taken into care if she told people about her issues. ‘I was born in 1985 and she was only 19 when she had me. There was that fear of, “if I tell people about my eating disorder or that I’m struggling, they’ll be taken away”.’
Parents: Joe added: ‘I look at [my kids] and think, “I can’t imagine them having to deal with those emotions’ (pictured with his kids and wife Rosie, who is pregnant with their third child)