The Truth About Tourette’s
Rosa Productions for BBC Radio 4
Presented by Aidy Smith
Producer John Offord
Executive Producer Mike Hally
The Truth About Tourette’s will air on BBC Radio 4 on May 31st at 11am and June 6th at 9pm, thereafter streaming on BBC Sounds for 12 months.
Aidy Smith is a TV presenter with Tourette’s. He is one of a small number of media personalities with the syndrome and is a recently appointed patron for the UK’s largest neurodiversity charity, the ADHD Foundation.
This programme is his own story about his life and journey to normalise the representation of Tourette’s across TV, radio and beyond.
The 28-minute documentary explores the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding the condition as Aidy visits his parents and delves into memories from his past. “Tourette’s is arguably the most misrepresented and misunderstood disability on the planet” he says.
The condition is frequently perceived as a swearing disability, which Aidy is keen to correct.
“Only a small minority of people with Tourette’s swear uncontrollably, which is known as coprolalia. But because of the perceptions of the wider community many people hide away rather than showing their true potential”.
This documentary speaks with other personalities with Tourette’s in the public eye, such as YouTube sensation and serial entrepreneur, Caspar Lee, winner of Channel 4’s Big Brother Series, Pete Bennett, Netflix Glow Up finalist, renowned make-up artist, James Mac Inerney and leading thoracic surgeon Dr Thai Wilson.
Aidy explains his view that “It’s like having a superpower; all of the excess energy that would otherwise go into our tics becomes focused on what we love doing”.
He is invited to try a new technology being developed at Nottingham University that can stop the tics associated with the syndrome. “I think it was one of the most emotional moments of my life” he recounts. “Our tics can bring so much pain and discomfort, to be able to be in control of them is truly life-changing, I’ve never felt anything like that before”.
“I want to inspire those in positions who can change lives to look beyond the perceived burdens sourced from stigmas and look at the positives; what you may see as a disability is actually a hidden superpower and this documentary will explain why”.
Aidy Smith is known for presenting the ‘The Three Drinkers’ travel series on Amazon Prime, Aidy is a keen advocate and one of the few known personalities with Tourette’s. He’s on a mission to normalise the representation of disabled talent across TV, radio and beyond. Please see www.aidysmith.com for more info.