On 2 May 2015, Rio lost his 34-year-old wife, Rebecca, to breast cancer. Just weeks later, on 30 May, Rio would announce his retirement from professional football, three days after leaving Queens Park Rangers. Understandably, he has spoken about this as “the most difficult time of his life”.
Some months after this, Rio and Matthew Freud met and spent time discussing his plans for the future. As often happens when people lose someone they love too soon, Rio explained that he wanted some good to come of his wife’s death. Together they had the idea of sharing Rio’s family’s bereavement story to help others suffering in a similar way.
Many freuds-led meetings and programme treatments later, BBC One commissioned the film – Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum & Dad – which went into production last summer, wrapped at Christmas and which aired March 2017.
freuds consulted right throughout the process, helping to ensure the film was sensitive, insightful and of real benefit to the audience.