STV and ITV’s groundbreaking mental health initiative, Britain Get Talking, returns to our screens with a festive, star-studded Christmas advert reminding us of the importance of listening to loved ones this Christmas. Following a challenging year as the coronavirus crisis continues, the broadcaster has once again partnered with SAMH, YoungMinds and Mind in this next iteration of Britain Get Talking. 
The film gives a tongue-in-cheek look at a day in the life of a make-up artist at STV/ITV, following her day as a host of famous faces grace her make-up chair and vent hilariously about the trials and tribulations of the past couple of years - the celebrities also tap into the mood of the nation, all hoping for a proper Christmas this time around. After a long day of listening to how others are doing, our make-up artist is finally asked about her day, reminding audiences of the importance of checking in with one another and ensuring we all feel heard. 
Celebrities including Lorraine Kelly, Joel Dommett, Emily Atack, Gino D’Acampo, Phillip Schofield, Charlene White, Helen Worth, Scarlett Moffatt, Fleur East, Kevin Mathurin, Emile John and Toby Aromolaran deliver humorous, satirical moans about everything from Zoom fatigue to panic buying petrol. Joel Dommett complains “what’s the point in abs if you can’t show them off” in response to the on and off again nature of holidays abroad this summer, while Gino D’Acampo vents about the trials of home-schooling - “ask me to do a souffle, I’ll do a souffle. Long division? No.” 
After a comical stream of celebrities ranting, Maya Jama offers our make-up artist a friendly ear after her busy day. The film ends with the message “After the last couple of years, we all need an ear. Give yours this Christmas.”
Listening has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and is particularly important in helping others to open up about their problems. A recent survey conducted by ITV revealed 45% struggle to open up about their problems because they’re worried they’ll be judged. Over 1 in 10 young people don’t open up about their problems at Christmas because they’re worried they won’t be listened to. 
The campaign and initiative, developed by Uncommon Creative Studio, reminds viewers to lend an ear as they catch up with their friends and family this Christmas. The 2 minute 30’ film, shot by Motherland Emmy nominated and Bafta winning director Simon Hynd, will premiere after ‘I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!’ at 10pm on ITV and STV this Wednesday 1st December with a special introduction from Britain Get Talking supporters Ant and Dec. 
The campaign website, hosts tips on listening, alongside information on sources of support for viewers who can’t rely on the listening skills of family and friends. Since it launched in October 2019, Britain Get Talking has encouraged the UK public to take over 56 million actions to support their mental wellbeing. 
Bobby Hain, Managing Director of Broadcast at STV, said: “It may have been dubbed the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas can actually be one of the most challenging periods for many people in Scotland.
“We recognise that at STV, and with this campaign we’ll use our presence in living rooms throughout the country to help remove the stigma, get our viewers talking about mental health, and encourage them to check in with those who may need extra support during the festive season.”
Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH, said: “The festive period can a difficult time, and with added uncertainty this year, we know that some people will really be feeling it. We’re delighted to see Britain Get Talking highlighting this issue and encouraging people to be there for their loved ones this Christmas – having someone listen to your worries can sometimes make a huge difference. For those that need more support, there’s lots of help and advice out there so please do reach out.”
More statistics from ITV conducted survey:

  • 45% struggle to open up about their problems because they’re worried they’ll be judged
  • 1 in 5 people think it’s hard to talk about how they’re really feeling at Christmas because they’re expected to be happy
  • 1 in 4 people say their family talks more about food than emotions at Christmas
  • Over 1 in 10 feel their family doesn’t know the real them when they see them at Christmas
  • Over 1 in 10 wish they had more meaningful conversations at Christmas
  • Over 1 in 10 young people (16-34) don’t open up about their problems at Christmas because they’re worried they won’t be listened to