Matt Willis on his addiction: It wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll or glamorous, it was sad
Matt Willis said his new BBC documentary detailing his history with addiction is “hard for me to watch”, but hopes it reminds viewers that there is no status, wealth or age barriers to addiction.
The 40-year-old, who is rose to fame in 90s pop punk band Busted, has spoken about his battle with drugs and alcohol which “pushed him to the edge” and his daily struggle to keep himself clean and sober – as well as his fear of relapse.
The film, airing on BBC One on May 17, will look back at some of Willis’s “darkest days” as he explores what could be behind his addiction and speaks to experts and other addicts to better understand himself, the BBC said.
Willis told the Radio Times: “I was young, and I was always the one taking it way further than I should have. The number of blackout moments (due to drinking) I had even up to the age of 20 was huge.”
Speaking about his interview on The Jonathan Ross Show more than two decades ago, he said: “That was hardest for me to watch because I’m looking at myself and I’m 20 years old or something and I’m obviously off my face.
“It’s not rock ‘n’ roll, it wasn’t glamorous, it was really sad.”
The documentary, titled Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction, will also delve into the impact it has had on his wife and TV presenter Emma Willis, who appears close to tears in the film as she tells of her unease that he will relapse again.
Willis told the Radio Times: “It was hard for me to see how much that fear was still prevalent for her.”
He said the documentary made the couple “realise that we still had some talking to do” and admitted that therapy has proven beneficial in understanding his compulsions and feeling compassion for his younger self.
“I had such a hateful way with myself, but if you look back and you can say, ‘You poor little bugger, what were you doing?’
“That’s a different way of looking at the past,” he said.
Willis added that although the programme is “nerve-wracking”, he hopes it reminds viewers that status, wealth and age are no barriers to addiction.
He said: “I meet regular people from different walks of life, and we all have this one thing in common: a tendency to stray into things which are damaging — and we can’t stop.
“They (addicts) can be anyone: your brother, your neighbour, your friend.”
Read the full interview with Matt Willis in the Radio Times.