Comedian David Baddiel has a problem: his 82-year-old dad Colin has a rare form of dementia which makes him prone to extreme outbursts of swearing, aggression and sexual-inappropriateness. The difficulty is, according to David, this is how his dad has always been: the dementia has, he says, only heightened Colin’s personality, making him even more difficult to deal with. Filmed over the course of a year, this extraordinarily intimate film charts David and his brothers’ attempts to care for their dad in the aftermath of their mum’s death. With the help of his older brother Ivor, David is trying to hold on to what is left of Colin, whilst at the same time attempting to have a more emotional connection with his dad – a man he says gave him his sense of humour – before it’s too late. By turns deeply moving and incredibly funny, ‘The Trouble With Dad’ is a touching portrait of a family dealing with a situation that many of us may find ourselves in.
Colin’s type of dementia – ‘Pick’s Disease’ or FTD – affects the part of his brain that controls his inhibitions. When his dad repeatedly puts him down and calls him a ‘big lump of turd’. David can’t help but think that that’s how he really feels. But what happens when Colin’s health takes a turn for the worse, and the brothers fear they might be about to lose him for good?
First broadcast: 20th February 2017 – 9pm on Channel 4.