Getting real: Sky Sports brings together huge sporting names to tackle stigmas in sport

Monday 18 March 2024

Sky Sports has announced the launch of "Real Talk," a multi-platform series dedicated to exploring often overlooked aspects of health and well-being within sports. The series, featuring names like Emma Hayes, Victoria Pendleton, Henry Slade and Natasha Jonas, will be available in both podcast and video formats across Sky Sports platforms.

"Real Talk" aims to shine a spotlight on crucial topics including grief, pelvic floor health, the challenges of being an athlete parent, exercise safety, OCD, and retirement, all with the help of elite sports people and industry experts. By engaging in candid discussions, the series seeks to dismantle stigmas surrounding these subjects while providing valuable education and insight to listeners.

Each episode will feature personal stories, expert opinions, and practical advice, offering listeners a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the complex issues surrounding athletes' physical and mental well-being in a relatable way. From the struggles of coping with loss to the intricacies of maintaining pelvic floor health, the series promises to tackle a wide range of topics with honesty, empathy, and authenticity.

In the first episode, titled "Grief," Sky Sports reporter Miriam Walker-Khan speaks to former Manchester City player Nedum Onuoha, England and Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Claudia Macdonald and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion, boxer Callum Johnson, about how the process of dealing with grief impacts athletes in their professional world. Miriam is also joined by Jane Murray, the Bereavement Services Manager at the Marie Curie Hospice, who shares her insight into working with athletes dealing with the loss of loved ones, and provides guidance for listeners on how to navigate grief themselves.

The series is set to premiere on Tuesday 19 March, with new episodes to be released every Tuesday on the Sky Sports News YouTube channel, across Sky Sports social platforms and via your preferred podcast platform. Audiences can look forward to compelling discussions and invaluable insights from some of the most respected voices in the sporting world.

Jamie Hunt, Head of Digital and Social, said, “At Sky Sports, we recognise the importance of bringing topics that can often be misunderstood or shrouded in stigma to the forefront of our channels. We are proud to be able to bring audiences open and informed discussions through the Real Talk series, where elite athletes and experts unpack each topic in an accessible and engaging way. By shedding light on these topics, we hope the series creates a dialogue on the issues faced by our amazing guests and hosts and contributes to a better understanding of the realities faced across sport.”

For more information and to tune in to "Real Talk," visit Sky Sports.

Notes to Editors


Episode one: Grief

  • Video Guests: Callum Johnson, Claudia Macdonald, Nedum Onuoha
  • Podcast Guest: Jane Murray (Marie Curie)

Episode Two: OCD

  • Video Guests: Nathaniel Wood, Freya Anderson, Henry Slade
  • Podcast Guest: Lynne M Drummond (Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Service for OCD and BDD based at South West London and St George's NHS Trust).

Episode Three: Pelvic Floor

  • Video Guests: Eboni Usuro Brown, Laura Gallagher Cox, Emma Hayes
  • Podcast Guest: Emma Brockwell (Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist)

Episode Four: Retirement

  • Video Guests: Danielle Brown, Joe Thompson, Victoria Pendleton
  • Podcast Guest: Dawn Airton

Episode Five: Exercise Safety

  • Video Guests: Jennifer Stoute, Sarah McDonald, Hayley Madigan
  • Podcast Guest: Women In Sport

Episode Six: Athlete Mum

  • Video Guests: Sarah Storey, Natasha Jonas, Bismah Maroof
  • Podcast Guest: Dr Kate Hutchings, the clinical lead for UKSI’s Female Athlete Health and Performance service