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Stephen Manderson, better known as Professor Green, is a successful rapper and musician, who has used his personal experiences and his profile to raise awareness of mental health and social issues. Alongside award-winning albums, an acclaimed autobiography, and a variety of TV guest appearances, Stephen has also fronted documentaries including Suicide and Me, Hidden and Homeless, and Working Class White Men.
Stephen Manderson, better known by his stage name Professor Green, is a musician, writer, presenter and broadcaster. Having established a successful musical career, he has used his profile to become an advocate for mental health and social issues. He now works on raising awareness of depression, male suicide and vulnerable communities through his music, campaigns and in the media. With honesty and insight he covers everything from identity politics and youth disenfranchisement to education and poverty.
Born in Hackney, east London, abandoned by his teenage parents, and raised in the borough by his grandmother, Stephen dropped out of school due to his poor attendance and drifted towards the criminal fringes of the area. He was drawn to music early on, becoming a figure on London’s nascent grime scene. The death of his father, when Stephen was just 23, saw him start to use his music as a platform to discuss mental health and its surrounding stigma. His award-winning debut album Alive Till I’m Dead combined tales of life on the streets with eloquence, humour, frustration and anger. Alongside his recording and performing career, Stephen also became a popular TV personality, presenting Lip Sync Battle UK and appearing on Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Top Gear, and many panel and chat shows.
Stephen considers the highs and lows of performance and fame, masculinity, ‘ladism’, the learned desire to self-brand and project an image, as well as their interconnection to mental health. He also examines anxiety and the different ways it manifests itself. In advocating for better support systems in communities and schools, Stephen looks at the importance of vulnerability – particularly in a world that demands a constant front.
Exploring many of these issues, Stephen has presented numerous documentaries including BBC Three’s Suicide and Me, Hidden and Homeless, Living in Poverty and Channel 4’s Working Class White Men. Suicide and Me examined the rise in male suicides and depression, while unravelling his experience of his own father’s suicide. Similarly his autobiography Lucky is an open and honest account of his past, the lessons he’s learnt along the way, and the persistence of his dream of becoming a rapper. He is the patron of anti-suicide charity CALM and was given the MIND Making a Difference National Award for his commitment to raising awareness about men’s mental health.
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