BBC Radio 4 afternoon play by Henry Cockburn. Factual drama.


On a cold February day Henry Cockburn waded into the freezing water of Newhaven Estuary and tried to swim across. Voices, he said, had told him to do it. Nearly halfway round the world in Afghanistan journalist Patrick Cockburn learned from his wife that Henry, their son had been admitted to a hospital mental ward. Thus begins Henry, Patrick and wife Janet Montefiore's extraordinary account of Henry's rapid descent into mental illness.

Tom Riley's Role

Henry Cockburn

Henry’s deeply troubling experience is relayed through three actors who play his father, war correspondent Patrick Cockburn, his mother, Jan, and Henry himself. Overwhelmingly it is Henry’s language and his attitude to his illness, handled brilliantly by Tom Riley, which lingers.
Equilibrium Magazine

Broadcast dates

26th September 2011


BBC website