Glamour model turned professional bodybuilder Jodie Marsh is to front a new Channel 5 documentary on bullying.
Can We Beat the Bullies? will investigate how bullying in the classroom, on the streets and online effects its victims, and what are the best ways to tackle bullies. As part of the series, Marsh – herself a former victim of bullying – will travel to America and speak to families whose children have commited suicide as a result of persecution.
Marsh has spoken out about her own experiences of being bullied at secondary school in a previous Channel 5 documentary, My Secret Past. During an appearance on This Morning last year, she broke down in tears as she recalled her school days, stating that she had contemplated suicide “loads of times”.
Andrew O’Connell, head of Factual, News and Current Affairs at Channel 5 said: “This series gives viewers a fascinating insight into the issues and the progress done in the US to tackle bullying which affects nearly 13 million kids a year. Jodie also explores how some of these initiatives can be adopted in the UK.”
Anti-bullying techniques in the US have come under scrutiny recently, following a spate of school shootings. The NRA (National Rifle Association) is currently campaigning for armed guards to be introduced in schools across the country, to protect young people from harm. The availability of guns in the US also means that the teen suicide rate is dramatically higher (in 2012 there were approximately 11 teen suicides per day in the US, compared to one per month in the UK, according to the British Medical Journal).
Can We Beat the Bullies? is due to air on Channel 5 in April.