TV Preview: Stephen Fry: Out There

Stephen Fry. Pic: BBC
Stephen Fry. Pic: BBC
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‘We live in astonishing times and the mission is clear - we want the very best film-makers to find and tell stories that will illuminate, provoke and reveal modern Britain in all its staggering variety.”

‘So said the BBC’s Charlotte Moore when she announced a variety of new documentaries which have been commissioned for the broadcaster.

She was mostly excited about the return of the Modern Times series, but we’re rather more taken with the idea of new, two-part programme Stephen Fry: Out There. The modern-day Renaissance Man rarely lets viewers down. The current run of QI is going down a treat but Fry tackles a more serious subject here.

A few months ago that, while making it, he attempted to commit suicide by taking a combination of vodka and pills. Thankfully he was discovered by the programme’s producer, and returned home for treatment having broken four ribs while convulsing.

Fry has since spoken about the situation, and written a moving blog on his website, in which he says: “Now, you may say, how can anyone who has got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all? That’s the point, there is no ‘why?’ It’s not the right question. There’s no reason.

“I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are, perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don’t get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide.”

We’ve known ever since he first stepped into the spotlight as a young comedian back in the 1980s that Fry is gay. However, for some people, coming out isn’t easy - in fact, it can cost them their lives.

Here, Fry travels the globe to find out how different countries and cultures regard homosexuality.

He begins his journey close to home by meeting Elton John and David Furnish, who may have faced some opposition from narrow-minded folk, but their story is a dream come true in comparison to that of a young man who is seeking refuge in the UK as he faces the death penalty in his home country of Iran.

Fry also travels to Uganda, where the government is considering the introduction of anti-homosexual laws, before asking actor Neil Patrick Harris what it’s like to be out in Hollywood.