Shiver has rare and exclusive access to Paul Gascoigne and, over the last three months, award winning director Jane Preston has captured his thoughts, actions and feelings in this emotional and revealing documentary about one of Britain’s best loved footballers and his ongoing battle with addiction. It’s a truly powerful piece of documentary television.
“I don’t know why I’m an alcoholic, I wish I wasn’t but I am… I have my bad days, I just tell myself I’ve got to get through it. But if I’m having a good day I really make the most of it. Because I don’t know what tomorrow brings. Or the next five minutes.”
From a schoolboy with an extraordinary talent in a working class district of Newcastle, Paul Gascoigne went on to become a global footballing legend and national treasure. But since his iconic days making headlines on the international football stage, Paul has been gracing the front pages for entirely more tragic reasons, namely his 15-year battle with alcoholism and addiction.
Over a three-month period, Paul has given cameras unprecedented access to a Shiver documentary team, opening the doors to his private life for this one-off, ITV documentary; which portrays the real Paul Gascoigne through his own words and the words of the people closest to him.
Despite his very public flaws, Paul remains one of the most talented and loved footballers of his generation and the film presents an intimate insight into his life, as he opens the door to the day to day reality of his turbulent world to cameras for the first time.
Following his life-threatening relapse earlier this year through to recovery, and a more recent relapse, Paul attempts to help other sufferers by sharing his experiences, whilst also trying to rebuild his relationship with his ex-wife Sheryl, son Regan and step-daughter Bianca. He shares his constant struggle to stay sober, the demons he battles every day and his hopes and fears for the future.
In the programme, Paul acknowledges the impact his illness has had on the people around him and that he is now in the last chance saloon. From his relationships with his family in Newcastle and his lifelong friendship with Jimmy ‘Five Bellies’ Gardner, to his new life in Bournemouth and the friendships he has forged with the counsellors from his rehab centre, Paul’s close family members and friends also share their experiences.
Being Paul Gascoigne is produced for ITV by Shiver. Made by executive producer Mark Scantlebury and award-winning producer Jane Preston. Tuesday 24 September at 9pm.