Brian’s Story – Homeless, Mental Health & Alcohol Documentary (BBC)

Brian’s Story – BBC Documentary Films 2015 – Homeless, Mental Health, Alcohol, Full Documentaries

Brian’s Story – a profoundly moving documentary film about a Cambridge educated journalist who, after a successful career, found himself struggling with homelessness and depression on the streets of London.

Documentary Notes

  • Brian Davis
  • graduated Cambridge at 21
  • published author 7 years later
  • mid 80’s was one of the best know journalists in advertising
  • aged 54 is now homeless and broke.
  • Has been sleeping rough for 7 months on the streets of London at the start of when the documentary was filmed.
  • A career spanning 30 years, he has wrote for most major national newspapers and was widely regarded as an expert in the advertising and film industries.
  • 1984 aged 39 he was made editor of the advertising journal ‘Campaign’ lasting only a week before walking out.
  • During the documentary, he managed to secure a job doing a written interview with Roman Polansky but has arranged to meet Polansky in Paris. Brian manages to raise money for the trip from an old friend in the industry.
  • Brian suffers from manic depression and seeks treatment sporadically but is dismissive of his illness.
  • Brian never made it to Paris after apparently being robbed of the remainder of his money after going to the pub.
  • Brian tries to raise more money by trading in some of his old books for money.
  • Brian finds an advertising agency to agreed to pay for a week in a bed and breakfast and Brian re-finds his enthusiasm for work and starts writing a number of poems.
  • Shortly after his week in the bed and breakfast, he receives £700 worth of benefits from the DSS. Three days later all his money was either spent or ‘lost’.
  • The following days he was arrested by police for leaving restaurants without paying.
  • A family relative has given Brian a place to live in Liverpool. He travels up there immediately, within a couple of days the house is a tip with beer cans and cigarettes strewn all over the place.
  • After 2 weeks of living in his own house the place is an absolute tip. It is clear that Brian struggles to look after himself.
  • Most of Brians benefit money has been spent on cigarettes and/or alcohol.
  • During the filming of the documentary the fire brigade were called into the house to put out a fire which was started because of unattended candles which Brian had lit prior to going out.
  • Social services had also started to visit Brian in his new home.
  • Another fire was started at Brians house, this time considerable damage was caused to the house.
  • Brian started to attend hospital voluntarily and was diagnosed with hyper-mania, a less intense form of mania. Brian stayed at hospital for 6 weeks whilst undergoing treatment.
  • Following Brians attendance at hospital, he was moved into hostel accommodation to assess whether he would be fit to move into a place on his own. He found it hard to settle there and returned back to hospital. A few days later, out of the blue, Brian left to London where he checked into a hotel and bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of martini.
  • At some point during the night he got up, walked down a flight of stairs and onto a roof balcony.
  • 2 days later his body was discovered in a courtyard below. Brian had fell to his death.

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