'After Life' donates benches to local councils in mental health scheme
Netflix has donated 25 benches to local councils around the UK as part of a mental health initiative celebrating the launch of the new series of Ricky Gervais’ After Life.
The benches were commissioned with suicide prevention charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) and feature QR codes leading to online resources and a message of support.
After Life’s third and final series was released on Friday, starring Gervais as local journalist Tony, a man plunged into intense grief following the death of his wife, while also trying to become a better friend to those around him in his home town of Tambury.
In the show, Tony is often seen sitting on a bench at his local churchyard as he reflects on his loss.
The benches will feature in locations including Bath, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Taunton and are inscribed with a quote from the third series: “Hope is Everything.”
Gervais is pictured at one of the benches with Brandy, the German Shepherd dog who stops Tony taking his own life.
Read more: Final series of Ricky Gervais's After Life gets mixed reviews from critics
Gervais, the creator of shows including The Office and Extras, said: “We hope the benches will create a lasting legacy for After Life, as well as become a place for people to visit, and we are thrilled to be associated with Calm and the great work they do.”
Calm chief executive Simon Gunning said: “Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest.
“That is why we’re delighted to team up with Netflix to put benches in parks across the country – inscribed with that crucial line from the show, ‘Hope is everything’ – to help people have those conversations and to show it’s normal to have those feelings.”
After Life was Netflix’s second most popular series of 2019, behind fantasy drama The Witcher.
Gervais writes, directs and executive produces the show, which also stars Penelope Wilton, David Bradley, Ashley Jensen, Tom Basden, Tony Way, Kerry Godliman, Roisin Conaty and Diane Morgan.
More information can be found via the Calm website.
With reporting by PA.
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