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Ambassador: Richard Gadd

Richard Gadd is a writer, actor and award-winning comedian, having picked up the prestigious 20016 Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show with ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’, a show based on his own experience of sexual assault. Having spent time behind the scenes writing for TV and Radio; whilst developing as a stand up comedian on stages across the UK, he has recently been seen in the TV mini-series, ‘Tripped’ and in the 2016 ITV finale of ‘Vicious’. He is set to appear as the romantic lead in upcoming primetime BBC film ‘Against The Law.’ He is the head comedy writer at Britain’s third biggest social media outlet ‘The Hook’ and has just been commission to write a pilot for Channel 4 based on the live show.

Since taking the stage with his self-penned ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’, which is on tour in 2017, Richard has spent time talking to media and audiences alike about the impact of male sexual assault and in doing so, creating conversation about a difficult subject. ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ also earned nominations for a Malcolm Hardee Award, Total Theatre Award, Scottish Comedy Award, Chortle Innovation Award, and an Off-West End Award for ‘Best Male Performer.’ The results are out later this year.

Why did you decide to take up an Ambassador post in Survivors Manchester?

Around about the time I was assaulted I felt extremely alone and vulnerable. I did not take advantage of the services that were on offer to me and as a result, I do believe I halted my progress. Keeping stuff bottled up only leads to more upset. The importance of speaking and opening up about abuse is so essential and I learned that the hard way. Charities like Survivors Manchester are there to help people open up in a safe environment and if I can help spread the message that men are not alone in their plight of sexual abuse – and that there are safe places you can go to open up and talk – then that is essential work I cannot say no to.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in the next 3 years?

Continue to grow and expand. Being new to the charity myself having never turned to this specific charity for help during my struggle, I cannot comment specifically on what I would like to see happen in the next three years as I too am learning about the charity as I go. I would however wish to use my new writing opportunities in television – specifically factual television – to work with Survivors on a large scale and highlight the plight of male sexual abuse and the stigma surrounding it through documentary story-telling. Hopefully if television broadcasters chose to commission my ideas then Survivors and males sexual abuse in general will gather more steam and important issues will be tackled on a national and international scale.

Do you have a message for the men of Greater Manchester?

Do. Not. Suffer. In. Silence. Talk to someone about it, if not a friend/family member/loved one – then a trained professional e.g. somebody here at Survivors. I have never met anybody who has suffered sexual abuse who has gone on to tell someone and then regretted telling that person. Every time you tell someone, tension is released and the world does not seem so lonely anymore. If you are not willing to speak at this stage try and write your thoughts down on a sheet of paper. Processing them out of your head and onto something else also helps in terms of stopping the thoughts rebounding around your brain. It allows you some reflection and will relieve stress. It was the process I used in crafting ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ and was essential in my development.

You can follow Richard Gadd on Twitter @MrRichardGadd

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