Professor Green: Leading a sensible life is ‘not as rock and roll as a bottle of Jack Daniels but I’ve done enough of that’

Professor Green and Lily Allen

Professor Green and Lily Allen - Credit: Archant

Rap star Professor Green moved the nation when he laid himself bare on television, and recounted the last conversation he had with his estranged father before he committed suicide.

Stephen and Millie

Stephen and Millie - Credit: Archant

In the emotionally charged interview for This Morning to promote his autobiography Lucky, the rapper whose real name is Stephen Manderson, admitted he regularly sees a therapist to help with depression. Speaking exclusively to the Gazette the following day, he said he had been “overwhelmed” by viewers’ responses afterwards as they praised his inspiration and honesty.

He said: “I wasn’t quite ready for that to be honest, but that was why it was as real as it was. It just happened, I didn’t pre-empt it.

“I came out afterwards and I felt rough for a little bit but I was happy I unloaded. It was nice to get that off my chest.

“I felt like I had succeeded somehow. Some people would look at that as me being weak, you know, me getting upset by something is vulnerability – but there’s a real strength in that.”

Stephen's parents with him as a baby

Stephen's parents with him as a baby - Credit: Archant

In the same vein, the 31-year-old has found it cathartic to write his life story, called Lucky – because of the tattoo he had emblazoned on his neck in exactly the same spot he would be bottled in a near-fatal attack just two weeks later in Shoreditch nightclub Cargo.

“Your thoughts can be quite jumbled, but getting them on paper you can make sense of everything that’s in your head,” he explained.

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“At the end of it I felt like I’d had the biggest weight taken off my shoulders. There was a sense of closure. I had gone way past the deadline so I was under pressure there, but there was another weight that was personal.”

Alongside tracking his rise to fame and marriage to ex-Made In Chelsea star and chocolate heiress Millie Mackintosh, the book recounts how he was brought up by his formidable gran on the Northwold Estate in Upper Clapton – as his mother was just 16 when she gave birth – and the sense of abandonment he felt having an absent father.

Professor Green has released his autobiography, Lucky

Professor Green has released his autobiography, Lucky - Credit: Archant

“The important thing about that is it’s my story in my words, therefore I’m happy if people want to form an opinion on me based on the book,” he said.

“It’s the first time everything is laid out from me so it is fair, because normally people make opinions and assumptions based on the few things they read in the press, which are often sensationalised or at worst just made up.”

He continues: “I wasn’t in the right place to do it earlier. I feel like I’ve got a good head on my shoulders now. My values and morals are the same, I’ve always had a good set of those, but it’s being able to look back in retrospect on what’s happened, and to be able to really understand it without being too caught up in it.

“It feels like life has really turned a corner for me, with personal change. I’ve found real peace with a lot of things that used to cause me real trouble, and it’s made me a much calmer person.”

Entering therapy last year at the behest of his GP has been a turning point to help deal with the hypochondria which led to him bunking off school throughout his childhood – which he now realises is caused by anxiety.

And leading a sensible life helps too.

“Doing things like working out, eating properly, going to bed at a reasonable time, and just by trying to build some kind of routine into my life. Everything gets better and much easier to handle, after a good night’s sleep things don’t cause me as much difficulty as without it,” he said.

“I’m up by 6am, I walk my dog for an hour an a half, just to be amongst the trees, it grounds you, it brings you back to the centre, and fair enough it’s not as rock and roll as a bottle of Jack Daniels but I’ve done enough of that.”