Tuesday 18 June 2019

Rio Ferdinand gives emotional acceptance speech after TV Bafta award for documentary about life after death of wife Rebecca

The football star gave an emotional speech as he took home a Bafta TV award.

Rio Ferdinand with the single Documentary award (Ian West/PA)
Rio Ferdinand with the single Documentary award (Ian West/PA)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association

Former footballer Rio Ferdinand has said winning a Bafta for a documentary he made following the death of his wife means more to him than all of the trophies he won during his playing career.

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, about life after he lost his wife Rebecca to cancer, won the Best Single Documentary prize at the Bafta TV awards.

Speaking after his win, Ferdinand said: “Both (the Bafta and football trophies) are great but this is more meaningful.

“This is something that can help change lives. I’ve heard that first hand from people.”

As he collected his award, Ferdinand said it had been a “crazy whirlwind experience” and that he only made the documentary for his three children.

“The worst thing to come out of this is that I get quite emotional now,” he said on stage, his voice breaking.

“It has allowed me to speak and show vulnerability that people were probably never used to.

“Being a sportsman you are kind of built up as kind of an indestructible athlete and for people to see that vulnerability live and direct, I think was a huge part of that, making the documentary.”

He continued: “All of the nans, granddads, the younger people, the middle aged people come up to me now in the streets and don’t want to talk about football and that means we’ve done a good job with what we are doing.”

He said it had “truly been worthwhile” as it had given people a voice.

Ferdinand, who attended the event with new partner Kate Wright, said the programme was “a snapshot of that time of sadness” in his life.

He said: “I’m just pleased to say this documentary has played a part of pulling me forward into a period of happiness in my life, where my kids are very happy.

“I have a beautiful girlfriend now and we are making steps in the right direction.”

Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright

Ferdinand also confirmed that he planned to make more TV programmes of a personal nature.

“This has sparked something within myself. I didn’t see myself as being a creative within film,” he said.

“I’ve had conversations about doing more stuff. Being from a sporting arena, there are stories to be told.”

Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca died aged 34 in 2015, weeks after being diagnosed with the disease for a second time.

2018 TV BAFTA Awards winners list:



Kate Adie


Special Award

John Motson


Comedy Entertainment Programme

‘Murder In Successville’


Current Affairs

‘Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets (Panorama)’


Drama Series

‘Peaky Blinders’


Entertainment Performance

Graham Norton - ‘The Graham Norton Show’


Entertainment Programme

‘Britain’s Got Talent’


Factual Series




‘Cruising with Jane McDonald’


Female Performance in a Comedy Programme

Daisy May Cooper - ‘This Country’



‘The Handmaid’s Tale’


Leading Actor

Sean Bean - ‘Broken’


Leading Actress

Molly Windsor - ‘Three Girls’


Live Event

‘World War One Remembered: Passchendaele’


Male Performance in a Comedy Programme

Toby Jones - ‘Detectorists’



‘Three Girls’


News Coverage

‘The Rohingya Crisis (Sky News)’


Reality & Constructed Factual

‘Love Island’


Scripted Comedy

‘This Country’


Short Form Programme

‘Morgana Robinson’s Summer’


Single Documentary

‘Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad’


Single Drama

‘Murdered For Being Different’


Soap & Continuing Drama



Specialist Factual

‘Basquiat - Rage to Riches’



‘The Grand National’


Supporting Actor

Brian F. O’Byrne - ‘Little Boy Blue’


Supporting Actress

Vanessa Kirby - ‘The Crown’


Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment

‘Blue Planet II’ - Mother Pilot Whale Grieves

Press Association

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top