Channel 5 boss Ben Frow has admitted he secretly resigned from his role last year for a period due to facing burnout from lockdown.
He told an audience at the Edinburgh TV Festival that he feels he experienced a “delayed reaction” from the pressures he faced during Covid to hold up the team and his family.
Frow, who is the controller of Paramount-owned Channel 5, revealed that it hit him “like a brick” last April and he resigned to the company’s president but later paused his resignation after making a recovery.
Speaking about how he felt at the time, he said: “I’ve got the pressures of business, I’ve got the pressure of Channel 5 and all the channels, then I had all the pressure of the indies who were like ‘what the hell is happened? We can’t film anymore’.
“Then I had the pressure of people going ‘if I don’t get a commission my companies going to fall down’.
“And I powered through it but I think it just hit me like a brick in April last year and I just had to stop.”
He added: “I was very angry … I would shake in meetings. People would say ‘can I have this?’ and I would start shaking.
“I felt like I was being peaked alive, eaten alive. There was nothing left in me inside. So I resigned.”
Frow added that it felt an “enormous relief” when he resigned, but explained that he did not tell his colleagues or his family, including his partner, about his decision.
He explained that by Christmas, when they were going to announce his resignation, he felt he was in a better place and returned as the chief content officer of Paramount UK.
Reflecting on what he took from the experience, he said he learned that he should have raised the issue earlier and now encourages his staff to open up if they are not feeling well.
“I cannot allow myself to be overwhelmed like that again in that sense of (having a) responsibility to everybody and everything all the time,” he added.