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Ian Wright: Home Truths on BBC One – What happened to him as a child? Where is his abusive step-dad now?

The former footballer investigates the effects of violence in the home

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Ian Wright: Home Truths sees the former footballer open up about growing up in an abusive home at the hands of his violent step-dad and investigates what effect it has had.

The one-off documentary, which airs on Thursday May 06 2021 on BBC One, sees the football pundit speak to other victims of domestic abuse.

He uncovers the psychological effect on children in the UK of growing up in an abusive and violent home.

But what happened to Ian Wright as a child? And where is his abusive step-dad now?

Ian Wright investigates domestic abuse in Home Truths (credit: BBC One)
Ian Wright investigates domestic abuse in Home Truths (credit: BBC One)

Read more: Ian Wright: Home Truths documentary sees footballer reveal horrific childhood abuse from stepfather

Ian Wright Home Truths: What happened to Ian as a child?

Ian describes his childhood as violent, thanks to his abusive step-dad.

He says: “Growing up, there was a lot of violence at home.

“I felt all the time that I was on edge and remember hating him so much.

“Facing up to those memories has made me want to talk to others.”

The documentary sees Ian revisit his childhood family home in Brockley, South East London, where he and his family were the victims of violence.

Ian Wright’s abuse at hands of step-dad

The former Arsenal striker lived in fear while growing up in an unhappy home surrounded by violence from his stepfather.

In one clip, Ian is forced to face some harrowing memories as he returns to the family home for the first time since 1973.

He lived in one room with his mother Nesta, brother Maurice and his stepfather.

Ian remembers his stepfather’s cruelty as he forced football-loving Ian to face away from Match of the Day when it aired on their TV.

He also remembers the violence he was witness to in the home.

His stepfather could often be violent, particularly to Ian’s mother Nesta.

Reflecting on the memory, Ian says: “You know you’re going to see or hear something horrible.

“There was one time her eye was cut. She said he punched her.

“I remember he grabbed my mum’s neck and it made me feel so helpless to see her so helpless and she was trying to say sorry when he had his hand round her throat.

“Even when I went to bed I just could not get rid of the memory of how helpless she was.”

In turn, Ian’s mum abused Ian – physically hitting him before cruelly telling him she hated him and wished she’d had him terminated.

Ian Wright" Home Truths examines the deeply disturbing issue of violence at home (Credit: BBC One)
Ian Wright: Home Truths examines the deeply disturbing issue of violence at home (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: Piers Morgan throws his hat in the ring as Dan Walker announces he’s leaving BBC show Football Focus

Where is Ian’s abusive step-dad now?

Ian’s step-dad left home when he was a teenager.

However, Ian maintains a relationship with his mum who has been “too ill” to take part in his film.

As a father-of-eight, Ian knows he needs to make peace with his mum for the sake of his own family.

He says: “I can forgive, because I have to move on for my own kids. I’ve got to try and make sure they are okay.”

To understand why his mum turned her pain onto him, Ian meets Naomi.

She admits that she used to hit her own daughter after being a victim of domestic abuse herself.

Ian Wright: Home Truths on BBC One – what’s it about?

Ian Wright discusses his own violent past in this moving and raw documentary.

He returns to his childhood house for the first time in decades to confront the never-forgotten horrors of his chaotic childhood.

The former footballer also talks to others who were once child victims of domestic abuse.

He investigates what effect growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home has on children in the UK.

He meets with social workers to find out how they are supporting and protecting youngsters living in at-risk households during Covid-19.

Ian Wright and his wife Nancy Hallam
Ian Wright and his wife Nancy Hallam (Credit: Splash)

What is Ian Wright famous for?

Ian is a former professional footballer-turned-television and radio personality.

He’s played for Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Ham United and England and was known for his speed.

In November 2019, Ian participated in the nineteenth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

In February 2021, it was announced that Ian would be hosting a new prime time game show for ITV called Moneyball.

He is currently a commentator for BBC Sport and ITV Sport, and has published several autobiographies.

How old is Ian Wright and where is he from?

Ian Edward Wright, MBE, was born on November 03 1963 in Woolwich, London.

He is currently 57 years old.

The pundit has a big family which includes his famous cousin Patrick Robinson.

Actor Patrick is perhaps best known for playing Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford in the long-running medical drama Casualty on BBC One.

Is Ian Wright married and does he have kids?

Ian Wright has been married to his second wife Nancy Hallam since 2011.

He revealed during his first few days on I’m a Celebrity that Nancy had no idea who he was when they first met.

He told campmate Myles Stephenson: “My missus didn’t know anything about football.

“I met her in the pub The Cow in Notting Hill. I’m not joking, it was the biggest kind of mugging off in respect of meeting someone.

“I’m not saying I’m Brad Pitt, but she mugged me off so beautifully I knew she was the one.”

He was previously married to his first wife Debbie.

Ian has eight children – four daughters and four sons.

His adopted son Shaun with former girlfriend Sharon Phillips, and had son Bradley with her, too.

He also has a son Brett from his relationship with another girlfriend.

Son Stacey and daughter Bobbi-Lee are the product of his first marriage to Debbie, who he married in Mauritius in 1993.

Daughters Coco, Lola and Roxanne are all with his second wife Nancy Hallam.

Ian admitted in his 2016 memoir called A Life In Football: My Autobiography that he was unfaithful to his first wife Debbie, something he now regrets.


Ian Wright: Home Truths airs on Thursday May 06 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.

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