Years & Years singer Olly Alexander to front BBC3 documentary investigating mental health issues in the gay community

In his first documentary, the musician will follow young people as they battle issues that resonate with his own experiences

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Olly Alexander, lead singer of Years & Years, is to investigate the high prevalence of mental health issues in the LGBT community in a BBC3 documentary that will form part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season, marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.

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As the frontman of British electronica band Years & Years, Alexander has used their music and videos to celebrate LGBT identities and has spoken openly about his own sexuality and his ongoing struggles with anxiety and depression.

Recent figures show that more than 40 per cent of LGBT people will experience a significant mental health problem during their life – compared to around 25 per cent of the population as a whole – and that they are more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide. 

Currently under the working title Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay, the film from Antidote Productions – the company behind BBC3’s multi-award-nominated Professor Green: Suicide and Me – will see Alexander following young people as they battle issues that resonate with his own – from homophobic bullying to eating and anxiety disorders – and asking what can be done to address these problems. 

Antidote executive producers Leila Monks and Laura Jones said: “We are hugely proud to be representing BBC3 as part of the Gay Britannia season and very excited to be working with somebody as talented as Olly on such an important film.”

With programming across BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4, and other content across BBC radio and online, the Gay Britannia aims to feature bold and provocative stories celebrating the LGBT community and casting a fresh light on the history of gay Britain

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Image: Pantelis