Paul Gascoigne’s colourful – and controversial – life throughout the 1990s will be explored in a new BBC documentary called Gazza, starting next week.
The former England player was once considered one of the best footballing talents in the world, but his life took a drastic turn for the worse as his career continued.
The striker was known for often enjoying being on the booze and subsequently became a favourite of the tabloid press.
The upcoming two-part documentary touches on some very sensitive issues, including his relationship, marriage and divorce from Sheryl Gascoigne.
Chatting to Metro.co.uk and other press at a recent screening, director Samson Collins and Vaughan Sivell shared how Paul gave his ‘blessing’ to the doc.
Asked whether Paul had a say in what was put into the documentary, the pair explained it was an ‘independent’ process.
Samson told press: ‘He gave us his blessing, but we were very at the start this needed to be independent.
Vaughan weighed in: ’He was very supportive of it in terms of a lot of stuff that you’ve seen, is completely exclusive hasn’t been seen before.
‘That’s because it came from his family archives. It was him who allowed us to be able to do that.
‘But it’s a pretty brave thing.’
The producer recalled the last time he’d spoken to Gazza and found the former footballer to be ‘brave’ when opening-up
He shared: ‘It was a pretty brave thing to allow people like us, to give it that support, but at the same time knowing full well that we were going to be as honest as we could give that, warts and all, the good times and the bad times.’
The two-parter includes never-before-seen archive and personal home videos, helping give a unique and personal insight into Paul’s life.
‘He’s involved but didn’t have any editorial control, creative control at all,’ Vaughan explained.
‘He literally did see it until it was finished. It’s very raw. I certainly wouldn’t like somebody to make a film about me,’ the director added.
But the story nearly didn’t get told, having gone through a lengthy five-year development, as well as a change of management on Paul’s end.
The pair managed to win Paul over when they were able to explain exactly what their plan was, with Vaughan sharing: ‘We said we were going to try and tell the truth about that period of his life from his perspective and that interested him.
‘What I think is most telling about how he feels about it now is all I can tell you from having a very long and moving conversation very recently was that he became incredibly emotional talking to me about things like his dad, but also the pain he feels at still wishing to play football.
‘You just assume having done so much that they get over it.’
Paul previously said in a statement: ‘This is the real story of my time in football – the good and the bad of who I am – and what really happened around me.
‘So much of this has never been seen before.
‘It feels good to be telling my side of the story and to be working with the Western Edge Pictures team and the BBC, who have delivered this in the best way possible to my fans.’
Gazza airs on BBC Two on Wednesday, April 13, and both parts can be streamed in full on BBC iPlayer straight afterwards.