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Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad - Winner's Acceptance Speech, Single Documentary, Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards in 2018

13 May 2018

Winner's acceptance speech on behalf of the production team for Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad in the Single Documentary category

RIO FERDINAND: I'm normally quite used to picking up trophies, but I don't normally have to speak after.

I would just like to say thanks firstly to BAFTA and all the other nominees.  Some great people up there. But also to BBC for believing in the project.  All the guys at New Era, my management team, who are part of the production team too. 

And, yes, it's been quite a crazy whirlwind experience, really. I didn't do this for any other reason than my three kids.  And probably the worst thing to come out of this is that I get quite emotional now.

It's allowed me to speak and show vulnerability that people probably were never used to.  As a sportsman, you're built up as an indestructible kind of athlete, and for people to see that vulnerability live and direct I think was a huge part of the making of the documentary.

And I think that all of the nans, the granddads, the younger people, middle‑aged people, who come up to me now in the streets, don't want to talk about football.  So that means we have done a good job with what we're doing, and people speaking out, allowing themselves to feel that vulnerability, that lacking in character, lacking in confidence. This has truly been worthwhile because it's allowed them people to speak and it's given them a voice.

Seeing the documentary and looking back, as I said at the beginning, was part of something that was going to be there for my three kids.  That was like a snapshot of that time of sadness, and I'm just pleased to say that this documentary has been a part of propelling me forward into a period of happiness in my life now where my kids are very happy.  I've got a beautiful girlfriend now and we are making steps in the right direction, and with the thanks for the people behind me, and there's many more behind the scenes, again, BBC, thank you very much.  Thank you.