Culture

Tom Daley is making a revealing surrogacy film for the BBC

Josh Jackman August 7, 2018
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Daley welcomed his first child in June (tomdaley/instagram)

Tom Daley is set to spearhead a BBC One film about surrogacy.

The news comes just weeks after the Olympic diver and his husband, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, welcomed their son Robert Ray Black-Daley into the world.

The couple’s announcement was met with a flood of anti-gay comments on social media, while members of the Mumsnet women’s rights board, which is dominated by self-identified ‘radical feminist’ campaigners who lead pressure campaigns against transgender inclusivity, accused Daley of “child abuse.”

The couple named their son Robert Ray Black-Daley (Tom Daley/Instagram)

Daley has been defiant in the face of this hatred, saying in April that he gets “tons [of abuse] every day, but at the end of the day, I’m married with a kid on the way and I don’t care what anyone says.”

And in the hour-long film, which is set to air in 2019, Daley will confront people who don’t believe that two fathers should have a child via a surrogate.

He will also explore how surrogacy works in the UK – where it is illegal to advertise for or pay a surrogate to carry your baby – and see whether there are any ways in which the law should be updated.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Team GB Diver Tom Daley chats to the audience during Sport Industry NextGen 2018 at Village Underground on February 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Daley won gold at the Commonwealth Games this year (Charlie Crowhurst/Getty)

Daley, 24, is also set to travel to California, where commercial surrogacy is permitted, and speak to experts and parents in one of the few states with liberal surrogacy laws.

The documentary, which has the working title Surrogacy, is also set to feature Daley speaking to surrogates, prospective parents and people who want to change the law in the UK.

The Olympic medallist will look into the deep bonds that can form between parents and their surrogates.

The diver has hit the headlines this year for his outspoken stances on LGBT rights (tomdaley/instagram)

Tom McDonald, BBC’s head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual, said: “Surrogacy is one of the most complex issues in modern society and the laws which govern it are radically different across the world.

“As new fathers through surrogacy, Tom and Lance are both committed to exploring all of the nuances around this very emotive subject.

“I’m thrilled that Tom is going to be our guide in this deeply personal and intelligent film.”

Daley has come a long way since 2013, with the diver admitting last month that he had no idea it was possible to start a family when he came out on YouTube.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Host and diver Tom Daley attends the Team GB Ball at Battersea Evolution on November 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Daley came out in 2013 (Jeff Spicer/Getty)

He was 19 then, but had already started preparing for fatherhood. The star explained: “I’ve been shopping for baby clothes for six years, since before I met Lance, since I was 17 or 18.

“There’s nothing I’ve ever been more sure of in my life than having a family.”

But Daley, who ended up naming his son after his dad Robert – who died in 2011 – said he just assumed that being in a long-term relationship with a man meant giving up his dream of fathering kids.

“One of the things I was so mortified about, so upset about, when I came out, was that I’d never be able to have a family,” he revealed, adding that “there’s something so special about passing on what my parents have taught me to children of my own.”

More: BBC, BBC One, California, Children, entertainment, family, Gay, parents, surrogacy, Television, tom daley, UK

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