“Such a heartbreaking watch”: viewers react to Will Young’s moving C4 documentary on addiction

Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert is the new Channel 4 documentary that has moved the internet in a big way.  

Documentaries can span everything from shocking but easy-to-watch real-life stories to more harrowing accounts of true crime.

Last night’s documentary pick was Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert – a moving and sensitive watch that made a big impact on viewers. In the documentary, singer Will Young reveals his personal journey of living with his twin brother Rupert’s alcoholism for over 20 years, until Rupert’s untimely death in July 2020.

As well as coming to terms with his own grief, Young attempts to understand the impact that alcoholism can have on families in general in the hope that others will feel less alone. 

There are an estimated 1.6 million people in England who are alcohol dependent, and of those who need specialist treatment just 18% are getting it.

Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert is now available to watch on Channel 4.

In the documentary, viewers got a glimpse into a side of his life that Young has never previously spoken about. He admits that this is his first time discussing such topics but he feels that now is the right time to do so.

He spoke about his daily routine during the period of time when Rupert stayed with him. He said: “This is the sitting room where Rupert slept. My day would start… I would come in… check if he was alright. I’d normally have to clear up some sort of mess. So, either he was sick, or normally he’d have peed on the sofa.

“So I’d have to clear that up, then go and get more beers and codeine, because he was addicted to painkillers, and start my day.”

We learnt that Rupert had struggled with addiction from the age of 18 right up until his death in 2020. Will was plainspoken about the fact that he and his family had continually offered support to his brother throughout his life. “I did everything I could to not let him die,” he reveals. 

Rupert and Will Young.

While many people know Will Young as the successful singer and winner of Pop Idol, this documentary provided viewers with an insight into his life that many were unaware of. His open and honest nature is what has amassed Young a wealth of podcast fans with his Audible show, The Wellbeing Lab.

In the weekly podcast, Young is joined by a team of knowledgeable mental health and wellbeing experts as they explore and spotlight various topics which often don’t get enough airtime. They discuss everything from shopping addiction, personal boundaries, body dysmorphia, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), trauma, obsessive compulsive disorders and more.

His informed manner came across well in the Channel 4 documentary too. He not only dived into his own story but also spoke with an expert in addiction treatment and another woman who had embarked on a project inspired by her father’s own alcoholism.

Young’s motives were clear in the documentary: “Other people will experience this and I don’t want people to feel alone.” But even so, many viewers felt Young opened up an honest discussion of a harrowing topic that really resonated with viewers:  

It’s safe to say that you’ll be left in tears after watching the documentary:

Nobody had any idea that the singer and his family were going through such personal battles with addiction:

As well as informing many of us, the documentary garnered a lot of sympathy for Will Young and his family:

But the most important thing about the documentary was how it informed viewers on a topic that isn’t widely spoken about:

Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert is now available to watch on All 4.

Images: Channel 4

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