I’ve done a lot of cry­ing

Pro­fes­sor Green opens up to John Bishop about his dif­fi­cult child­hood and his dad’s sui­cide…

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Stephen Man­der­son is best known as the award-win­ning rap­per Pro­fes­sor Green. But be­hind his suc­cess lies a se­ries of tragedies, start­ing with his child­hood in East Lon­don, as he tells John Bishop.

‘There was a lot of con­flict,’ says Stephen. ‘My mum was 16, my dad was 18, nei­ther of them had a clue. My mum had done a run­ner by the time I was one and I was left at my nan’s house.’


Stephen was brought up by his grand­mother Pat, but his chaotic child­hood left him with anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, which was ex­ac­er­bated when his dad, Pe­ter, took his own life in 2008 and Stephen had to iden­tify his body.

‘He was so kind, so car­ing but so dam­aged,’ says Stephen, who has sup­ported the Royal Fam­ily’s Heads To­gether cam­paign that deals with men­tal-health is­sues.

‘There’s ac­tu­ally a strength in ad­mit­ting your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties – I’ve done a lot of cry­ing,’ he says. ‘The last time I saw my dad was in a dream. I was hold­ing this kite and it was re­ally windy and he said, “What you hold­ing on for? Some­times you’ve just gotta let go.” It gave me a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.’

It’s good to talk… Pro­fes­sor Green (right) with John. In­set: The singer as a child with his dad

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