BBC reveals new Paul Merson documentary on gambling

The BBC has announced a new documentary exploring gambling for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.  

Entitled “Paul Merson: Football, Gambling and Me”, it will involve reformed gambling addict, Paul Merson, exploring the relationship between gambling and football.  

Merson will be the latest to tackle the relationship between football and gambling, as earlier this year Former Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, presented her own documentary on Channel 4.  

The latest film will provide a first-person account of Merson’s personal experience with gambling and help him understand the triggers that led to his addiction.  

Merson said: “If this film helps just one other person affected by the issue of problem gambling, it’s been worthwhile”. 

Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Science, added: "Watching England reach the finals of the Euros has been a dream come true. But, as we watch, it’s impossible to escape the constant marketing campaigns from the betting industry.  

“With fans and players at risk of being drawn into addiction, it’s the perfect time for Paul to explore the uncomfortable relationship between football and the gambling industry and ask if it needs to change.” 

Currently, the UK Government is still reviewing gambling laws and pondering whether they should be changed.  

Figures show the betting industry currently spends £1.5bn ($2.08bn) a year on advertising, with 80% of all gambling marketing being spent online.  

The documentary is set to air later this year. One hopes it will be a balanced programme presenting all sides fairly.

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