Ron Copsey has set himself up as an expert counsellor for those who have endured a particular kind of trauma.
Ron, you see has expert experience of this kind of trauma. It has taken him 10 years to recover. Now he wishes to help others.
What you may ask is the trauma involved?
Ron volunteered for the reality TV programme âCastawayâ. He volunteered to be one of 36 people whose every movement on a small island would be filmed by a TV crew and beamed out to the general public on a weekly basis.
The âtraumaâ came about when he found that he was âconstantly recognised by people whoâd seen the showâ and âlosing oneâs anonymity in this way can be scaryâ. You can see how someone would be traumatised to find that by appearing in a reality TV show they might lose their anonymityâ¦..
Ron descended into alcohol abuse and it took a trained therapist 18 months to guide him back to his previous calm, measured, reticent personality as befits a man who volunteered to appear as âthe only gay in the villageâ on a TV reality showâ¦..
Now fully recovered, Ron sued the production company for libel â they had cut a scene in such a way that it appeared that he had thrown a chair at a fellow member of the castaways, a dastardly calumny which would naturally tend to lower Mr Copsey in the opinion of right-thinking members of society; when in fact, by his own admission, he had thrown the chair at a member of the production company â a perfectly reasonable and laudable action. He received Â£16,000 in compensation for the damage to his reputationâ¦.
Â£16,000 does not last long, and now Mr Copsey has set himself up in business as a therapist specialising in aftercare for those who are terminally shocked to find that signing up to a reality show means that people are going to look at you, recognise you, and comment on your actionsâ¦â¦
Now he is writing about his plans in the Guardian. I hope he isnât too shocked to find that people will read his article, and comment on his words.
UPDATE: Mr Copsey has been in touch with me and asked me to make clear that, in his own words:
Viewers were led to believe that, following Charlieâs death and being told about the vetâs bill, Iâd had a violent outburst and thrown a chair at a female Castaway. The row had actually been with a member of the production team, when I had thrown a chair â against a wall â and left the room. The programme-makers then cobbled this together with old footage of another Castaway crying, and saying that she was intimidated by me.
Therefore I can now correct myself and say that Mr Copsey aimed the chair at the wall, and naturally hit his target. As you would expect. No human beings were harmed or aimed at during the filming of this outburst for television.
It is not known whether the wall was intimidated by this action. Anna