25 June 2020 22:31
Make Me Famous, created by Reggie Yates, is a dark warning not only about the pitfuls of reality TV and instant fame but also the lack of discussion around male mental health. Here the show's star, Tom Brittney who plays Billy, a man struggling with fame (or the lack of) a year after appearing on a reality TV show, talks about his own battles with body imageand the lasting conversations he hopes the show will create… Luckily, I'd like to think it's working out, but it's a tough journey, I think putting all your love and hope into your ambition. It is an odd thing to kind of do, to have to almost self-delude yourself into not going, "No, I've failed." I had a hard time when I was working a lot, a couple of years ago, and it was all going really well and then suddenly I had a year out of work. It was something that I realised that I struggled with a lot through my life and sort of piecing together, like, "oh yeah, I used to take off days from school, because I just hated the way that I looked and thought that people would hate me for how I look." It's strange that I would then choose to go into something like acting, to go in front of an audience and put myself out there. How important do you think that it is to show a more masculine character dealing with this level of mental health issues and life on screen?
I think playing a character and showing the vulnerable sides of a person who's trying to put on this alpha male bravado exterior, and then seeing the more vulnerable side, especially with a reality TV star, who we don't often get to see that. I'd love for this to make people who watch it think twice and possibly never sending that potentially hateful tweet to someone, because they maybe now can see that there's a human beneath that celebrity. I got a comment actually the other day on Twitter saying they've been guilty of sending comments to Love Island contestants before, and they weren't going to do that anymore after seeing the show. Make Me Famous will leave viewers struggling not to think of Mike Thalassitis. While Reggie Yates' new BBC drama is a work of fiction, it is based on interviews with real reality stars.
Make Me Famous author Reggie Yates stressed that now more than ever, " it feels like this story needs to be told". He added: "Reality TV is loved by those in it and those who watch it, but there are issues that come with that. "This felt like an opportunity to tell a story which explores the relationship between reality TV, social media and fame." New BBC Three one-off film Make Me Famous follows Billy Fearon (played by Tom Brittney) who is a reality contestant who gets drawn into the world of fast fame. Here's everything viewers need to know about the inspiration of the show and whether it drew on any real-life stories. Is Make Me Famous based on a true story?
"The world of post-reality show fame is fleeting, and I don't think the audience is aware of what that means to the people who go through such a fast, life-changing experience." Yates also revealed in an interview with the Guardian how the show was not inspired by the suicide of former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis in 2018. Yates also explained how one of the reasons he agreed to write the drama was due to his own personal connection with reality television shows. He explained: "From shows like The Real World, right the way through to series one of Big Brother, all of these shows came to fruition in my formative years." However, the writer was also keen to point out how his show is not about attributing responsibility but instead helping people understand the pressure of fame on people. Make Me Famous, a one-off drama produced for BBC Three (airing tonight on BBC One), looks to peel back the artifice of the genre, and to ask what really becomes of its heroes and villains once the cameras stop rolling and actual reality sets in. The special was written by radio and TV presenter Reggie Yates, based on interviews conducted with the creators and stars of reality TV. It follows Billy (Tom Brittney), a social media influencer who has just starred in a Love Island-ish series called "Love or Lust". Make Me Famous is split across two time periods – Billy's post-fame downturn and a Love or Lust casting interview. Make Me Famous arrives on BBC One on June 25th but who is the reality TV drama about and is the one-off film a true story? Reality TV series such as Love Island and Big Brother, combined with the intense scrutiny of social media, have come directly under the microscope in recent years. Make Me Famous, a new one-off drama from the BBC, details tells the human story of reality TV fame and the comedown in the months after. One of the biggest questions surrounding Make Me Famous is whether or not the show is based on a true story or on anyone in particular. After making its debut on BBC Three and iPlayer, Make Me Famous is coming to BBC One on June 25th. The one-off TV drama follows a former reality TV star a year after his time in the spotlight. Make Me Famous details how his life has been changed by overnight fame, his struggles to cope, as well as the process which he had to go through to get on the show in the first place. Make Me Famous tells the story of Billy, a contestant on the fictional Love Island-esque reality TV show Love or Lust. The one-off drama is not a true story in and of itself as Billy, who is played by Grantchester star Tom Brittney, is simply a fictional character. However, the storylines and situations we witness throughout the episode are based on the real experiences of reality TV stars of the last few years. The story behind Make Me Famous In a video on the BBC Three YouTube channel, which you can watch below, Yates says: "I sat with, I think it was, 12 ex-housemates on some of your favourite reality shows. Make Me Famous airs at 9pm on June 25th and is also available to stream now via BBC iPlayer.