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Tuesday 20th August 2019

Viewers praise Harry Redknapp's new show for shining a light on mental health

Harry's Heroes: The Full English saw him reunite football legends

I'm A Celebrity winner Harry Redknapp returned to screens last night with his new show Harry's Heroes: The Full English, and viewers absolutely adored it.

The show was universally praised by viewers on Twitter, who urged anyone that hadn't yet seen it to catch up...

The football-based show also won praise for raising mental health awareness.

The two-part ITV series follows 71-year-old Harry as he recruits retired footballing legends to play a special match against a team of German ex-footballers. But it was one ex-player's story that really got viewers talking.

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson opened up about his past demons, which saw him lose millions of pounds to gambling and drug addiction at the height of his fame.

Paul was candid (Credit: ITV)

Being an addict is hard. It's something you got for the rest of your life.

During a fishing trip with former Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman and ex-Liverpool player Robbie Fowler, Paul spoke on his struggles.

"I haven’t taken drugs since 1994," the 50-year-old told his pals, adding that his life was "out of control" when he took cocaine.

He explained: "Being an addict is hard. It's something you got for the rest of your life."

Paul eventually got help for his addictions in the UK and in Arizona but he admits it was a tough journey and that he was even suicidal.

"Addiction is a strong thing. It's weird how it takes you. I'm playing for England. I have all the money in the world. And I wanted to kill myself," he confessed.

The former footballers opened up (Credit: ITV YouTube)

Read more: Jamie and Louise Redknapp share the same sweet moment on Instagram

The men also spoke on angst after football retirement.

Viewers then took to social media to applaud Paul and the other lads for their honesty and for raising awareness of mental health issues for men.

One viewer tweeted: "Well done Paul Merson. So brave to talk so open #Harrysfullenglish."

The lads get weighed for the show (Credit: ITV YouTube)

Read more: Olly Murs opens up about undergoing therapy for anxiety

Another commented: "Absolute cracking chat from Merse, Fowler & Seaman on mental health, addiction and fear of retirement. Remarkable how open and hilarious they all were #Harrysfullenglish."

A third fan wrote: "Loving #Harrysfullenglish, highlighting challenges of both physical and mental health, whilst still being humorous. Well done lads."

And a fourth added: "(Good) to listen to the lads talk so openly about their mental health issues. More men should look up to them and know it’s okay to talk ❤️ #HarrysHeroes #HarrysFullEnglish."

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