Ant & Dec conduct awkward interview entirely by text to show the importance of having better quality conversations
‘Because the better we talk, the better we feel.’
ITV and STV’s landmark mental health campaign, Britain Get Talking, returned with an unexpected interruption on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, to highlight the positive effects of better quality conversations on our mental wellbeing.
In an interview with Sir Mo Farah, the ITV hosts conducted the beginning of their conversation with the Olympic athlete entirely through texting. Texting is a great way to communicate, but as demonstrated in this segment, sometimes things can get lost in translation.
However you choose to do it, taking the time to check in and really engage with friends and family is important. The last year has been tough for many of us. Our coronavirus survey of 16,000 people showed that over half of adults and two thirds of young people said their mental health got worse during the pandemic, with many developing problems for the first time. Even as lockdown is easing, we know that many of us will still be feeling the impact. By having open and meaningful conversations with our loved ones we can support each other when we need it most.”Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind
Ant & Dec picked up on the staggered unnatural nature of the text interview, suggesting to Sir Mo it would be better if they just talked. The duo continued to explain how we’re living through a mental health emergency and many of us could use a proper heart to heart. Whether it’s on the phone, or socially distanced in person, a good conversation has the power to ease our stress, and reduce our anxiety.
The disruption of the text interview contrasted with the usual chatter and energy of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, from the guests and the audience - it aimed to highlight how making time for better quality conversations can improve communications and outcomes, which in turn can improve mental wellbeing.
Ant and Dec, who have supported Britain Get Talking since they launched it in 2019, said: “We are really proud to support the Britain Get Talking campaign which has already encouraged millions of people to connect. This latest part of the campaign is a reminder to think about, not just how much we’re chatting, but what kind of conversations they are. After the year everyone’s had, the message of Britain Get Talking couldn’t be more important.”
The Britain Get Talking campaign, which is supported by Mind and YoungMinds and which was developed by Uncommon Creative Studio, kicked off with the text stunt during the show, and will be followed by an advertising campaign running in ITV airtime called The Britain Get Talking How to Chat Show. These 30 second ads will also push to longer content on ITV Hub. The campaign and interview series emphasises the same theme of how better conversations can help, with the line ‘The better you talk, the better you feel.’
The Britain Get Talking How to Chat Show series, hosted by Roman Kemp, Alex Beresford and Rochelle Humes, and featuring Anne-Marie, Charlene White, Dr Ranj, Nicholas Pinnock and Sanjeev Bhaskar, will dive deeper into overcoming barriers and techniques for having better quality conversations through real experiences and stories shared by the celebrity guests.
Unforgotten actor Sanjeev Bhaskar said: “We were brought up by society to believe that as blokes we fix things. My son is 15 and one of the things I encourage him to do is that if he can’t talk to me then talk to someone else. Vulnerability shared is actually a strength."
The campaign website - itv.com/BritainGetTalking - also hosts information on how to have better quality conversations, as well as sources of support for viewers who can’t rely on family and friends. ITV continued to work in close collaboration with Britain Get Talking charity partners Mind and YoungMinds in developing this campaign, alongside SAMH in Scotland.
We know from young people and parents we work with how hard it can be to open up about the pressures you face, and how important it is to know how to respond when someone does. We’re really pleased that Britain Get Talking is encouraging open, supportive conversations across the country. Even as restrictions begin to lift, this is a challenging and uncertain time for lots of young people and parents. Good conversations with friends and family can make a huge difference, backed up by more specialist support for those who need it.Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds