Cricket star and TV presenter Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff has thanked fans for their support after opening a new documentary about his long struggle with bulimia.
In Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia, aired on Monday, the former England captain said he suffered from an eating disorder after being embarrassed by the press in Britain at the start of his international career.
The 42-year-old star, who now hosts Top Gear and appears as captain of his team on the comedy panel show A League Their For On Own, first talked about being a bulimia in 2014, but the program’s shooting Till then, he had never sought help in this matter.
Posting a message on Twitter after the show aired, she said: “Thanks for tonight’s excellent response from the doctor, hopefully we’ve helped raise awareness about this important topic.”
A BBC One documentary explores the effects of bulimia on Flintoff’s life, and why eating disorders are so often hidden, and why men in particular are so stigmatized.
The star said his struggle with the disease continued beyond his playing career, and that he had become ill after eating for the past 12 months.
After suffering from eating disorders and meeting with medical professionals, she also said that she realized that bulimia could affect her international sports career, which ended in 2009 when she was 31 years old.
“I never thought about it, but then it affects everything, doesn’t it?”, Flintoff said. “Your joints, your bones – maybe.”
Flintoff enjoyed a very successful international career, most notably helping England regain their wrist four years later, before winning their first Ashes in 18 years in 2005.
However, speaking of the 2005 victory, he said he was feeling sick at the time.
“The first test of that series, I was sick,” he said.
“Everyone is talking about how well you’re doing, and some of you are thinking, ‘It’s working, let’s play cricket with it.’
Recognizing how dangerous the situation can be, Flintoff said he is seeking professional help to move forward.
“I don’t want to be a statistic,” he said. “I don’t want to read about what happened to me in the years to come.”
Flintoff is not the first male star to develop an eating disorder in recent years.
In September 2019, Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston revealed that he was suffering from anorexia Shooting a sci-fi series and portraying himself as a “living body-enemy”.
After the documentary, viewers praised Flintoff on social media, one thanking him for “opening up about your feelings with such sincerity”, another saying: “I hope it shares your feelings with you and others. Helps to open about and get help, I think this documentary will help other men to open up. Good Fred. “