Tom Bryant

Daily Mirror

From suicide attempts to child abuse, no subject, no matter how deeply personal, was off the table as part of Tom Bryant’s vitally important Men in Mind series, about men’s mental health.

The interviews, as part of a ground-breaking Mirror podcast, had one simple premise: to encourage men to open up. And thanks to Tom’s deft, yet deeply compassionate, approach, stars such as Simon Cowell, Gregg Wallace and Chris Packham duly did, with the end result hailed by the mental health charity Mind as “such powerful journalism”, saying how it shone a "crucial spotlight on men's mental health".

An interviewee adept at never revealing too much in his 30 years in the public eye, Cowell instead gave his most personal ever interview, telling for the first time of his battle with depression, his severe Covid anxiety, and how therapy “saved” him.

Tom’s singular ability to put his subjects at ease to encourage them to open up was none more apparent than when he sat down with Gregg Wallace. A loud, bombastic character on screen, Gregg told how the opposite was true behind closed doors, as he coped with crippling anxiety, before opening up about his awful abuse as a child. Tom’s interview with Chris Packham was a masterclass in how to gently coax extraordinary details out of his subjects, as he spoke quietly about the very personal cost of his campaigning, and how he resents having to live his life surrounded by security.

But Men in Mind is much more than a series of moving, often uncomfortable yet ultimately uplifting interviews. At its heart is the laser-focused desire to shine a light on men’s mental health and empower those who are struggling to speak up.

And with Mind's research showing one in five people have spoken to a loved one about their own mental health as a result of hearing a celebrity talk about theirs, Tom's series is indispensable reading.