Katie Price speaks out about bringing up Harvey for BBC One documentary
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BBC One today announces Katie Price: Harvey and Me (working title), an unflinching and deeply personal one-off film in which Katie will open up about what it’s really like to be a mum of a disabled child approaching adulthood.
The commission is part of the BBC’s commitment to boosting disability representation on and off screen throughout 2020 and beyond, with a range of new programmes as well as enhanced portrayal in existing programmes and core brands.
For more than two decades, Katie Price has dominated the headlines as her rollercoaster life has played out in front of us online, on her reality TV shows and in the tabloids. But there’s one subject that Katie’s kept behind closed doors: what it’s really like bringing up her disabled son Harvey.
After Harvey was born it became obvious that he wasn’t responding in the same way as the other babies at Katie’s mum and baby group. Within weeks of his birth, Harvey was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Septo Optic Dysplasia. For Harvey it brings with it partial blindness, Prader-Willi syndrome, autism, learning and behavioural difficulties.
Katie Price says: “Being a parent of a child with complex needs, as Harvey has, presents daily challenges. Simple day to day things that other people take for granted can take all day.
“Every day presents a new challenge, no two days are the same. We have learnt and grown together, and together we have built our private world, a bond between mother and son which goes deeper than most - we are unbreakable.
“Harvey has taken on every hurdle life has thrown at him - from birth, being told he would never see, to now drawing rainbows – he was told he would never be able to engage in everyday life, but is often the life and soul of the party. Harvey touches the hearts of all those he meets - his heart knows no bounds when giving out love and affection.
“Now he is 18, I have to start making vital decisions that will impact Harvey’s future that are different for most other parents. Harvey isn't about to go to uni, travel the world on a gap year, or take his driving test. Harvey’s never even had a beer!
“Harvey is now an adult, and this is the most important time of his life, making the vital decisions, safeguarding his future and ensuring he has the tools for life that will give him the equal rights to live his life to the fullest.
“For the first time I will be taking you behind the closed doors of mine and Harvey’s world. Experience a day in the life and what the future will look like for him and me. This is how we roll in Katie Price: Harvey & Me.”
Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, says: “I would like to thank Katie Price for opening up in this important and very personal film. Katie’s life has played out in public, but one thing she has always kept private is the day to day realities of being mum to her son Harvey.
"As he turns 18, Katie faces difficult decisions about his future and wants to help people understand the realities and challenges of bringing up a child with a disability, and to see what Harvey’s life is really like. We hope this film will have a huge impact and help advance the conversation around disability in the UK.”
Katie has remained fiercely protective over her first-born, but now in a pivotal year when he turns 18, she wants to bring the realities of what life is like for disabled young adults and their parents. Katie is his protector, his campaigner and his carer, but most importantly - his mum.
As Harvey moves from child to adult services, Katie, like millions of parents of children with additional needs, has difficult decisions to make about his future: where will he be treated when he can no longer go to Great Ormond Street? Where he will live? What level of independence might he achieve? What are his work opportunities?
Katie’s instinct has always been to keep Harvey as close to her as she can, but as he transitions into adulthood, Katie has to face her own fears as she learns to let go. Katie not only needs to find what’s right for him, but also come to terms with how her own identity will shift without him at the front and centre of her life.
Katie Price: Harvey and Me (w/t), a 1x60’ for BBC One, is made by Minnow Films. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, and Clare Sillery, Head of Documentaries, History and Religion. The Commissioning Editor is Max Gogarty. The Executive Producer is Sophie Leonard, the Director is Hannah Lowes and the Producer is Cath Boggan.
Image credit: Glenn Gratton
Source BBC One
July 3, 2020 4:10am ET by BBC One