Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction (2023)


This raw documentary sees Busted’s Matt Willis open up about his struggles with addiction and the pressure it puts on his family, as well as looking into what helps him and others stay clean.


Musician, actor and dad of three Matt Willis may seem to have it all. He’s part of the hugely successful noughties pop band, Busted, has a flourishing acting career and is happily married to TV presenter Emma Willis, with whom he has three kids. But behind the success, there is one thing that often dominates his thoughts – his addictions. In this raw and honest documentary, Matt opens up about his past and takes an extensive look into his battle with drugs and alcohol, how it has pushed him to the edge, and his daily struggle to keep himself clean and sober. Matt talks about how he constantly lives with the fear of relapse and the pressure that puts on himself and his family.

The film looks back at some of Matt’s darkest days as he begins to explore what could be behind his addiction. Through meeting and talking with others, he tries to understand why he and fellow addicts become dependent on drugs and alcohol, what help is available, and what the latest developments in treatment are. Matt and his brother revisit their childhood home to see if the roots of his addictions can be found in their past.

He visits the rehab unit on the south coast that made a real difference to his recovery and where he spent four weeks in 2008 before his marriage to Emma Willis, coming out the day before his wedding, clean and sober. He joins a meeting at the centre, talking with current clients about their addiction and recovery experiences. Matt also travels to Imperial College London to meet a research team who are studying the differences between the brains of people in addiction and those of people who aren’t, and looks at treatments to help people in the long and often difficult road to recovery.

As well as his personal journey, the film captures the unwavering support Matt has from his bandmates, friends and family, in particular his wife Emma. Together, he and Emma travel to a leading charity in Glasgow that supports the relatives of addicts. Here, they meet the children, parents and spouses of people struggling with addictions.

Matt’s exploration of his addictions in this film comes at a time when he and Busted are preparing for their reunion tour, an environment that in the past has put him at risk of relapse. Can he get himself to a place where he feels comfortable and confident going on tour, and remain clean and sober? And through looking into the various possible reasons for his addictions, as well as some of the methods available to help ease them, can he help himself and others find peace in their daily battle with addiction?

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s):
  • Director(s):
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC One and BBC iPlayer
  • Release Date: 17 May 2023.
  • Running Time: 59 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.