Dadvengers Podcast Episode 38 – Ian Russell

*** Trigger Warning – In this episode we discuss topics that may be triggering for some listeners, namely suicide and child loss. If you’re affected by any of the topics in this episode you can find support here***

It’s the Dadvengers Podcast episode 38 – Ian Russell. This weeks guest is a producer and director in television, and has worked on TV Dramas, Royal Weddings and the opening and closing ceremonies of many global sports competitions. He is also an inspirational father and campaigner. We are so pleased to welcome Ian Russell to the podcast.

Ian describes his childhood as idyllic, although he didn’t realise it at the time! He had a close relationship with his own father who was a strong and involved dad. He let Ian and his siblings explore and learn for themselves. Only stepping in with advice if it was needed.

This idyllic upbringing left Ian with a longing to be a father himself, and he went on to have three amazing daughters. Ian describes fatherhood as the biggest job in the world that comes without a manual! Life was great for the family of five, until tragedy struck.

Ian’s daughter Molly sadly took her own life at just 14 years of age, after struggling with seeing extremely graphic unregulated content on social media. Ian and his family fought to have a full inquest into Molly’s death that has led to campaigns around online safety and regulations for all users, but especially those most vulnerable – our children.

Since recording this episode Ian’s campaigning has led to the introduction of the UK’s first online safety bill. But that isn’t all Ian and his family have achieved. They’ve set up the Molly Rose Foundation a charity aimed at suicide prevention for people under the age of 25.

Ian is an inspirational father and his strength in sharing Molly’s story is awe-inspiring. We are so grateful to Ian for joining us 💙

Podcast Ep 38 - Ian Russell (1920x1080)
Dadvengers Podcast Ep 38 – Ian Russell

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Episode Time Stamps

2:08 – “Life was amazing for us… but at the time you think it is just normal!”
– Ian shares his brilliant childhood on the Sussex Downs.

4:30 – “There was a lovely, caring but also letting you stand on your own two feet attitude”
– Ian’s relationship with his dad.

7:18 – “It is the biggest job in the world and you don’t get a manual to find out how to do it!”
– Ian on becoming a father.

13:48 – “There was a part of my life that existed before Molly’s death and the part after”
– Ian shares the impact of the loss of his daughter, Molly.

17:40 – “She was one of the most caring people I had ever known”
– Ian tells us about Molly.

19:48 – “I had no doubt really quickly that social media helped kill Molly”
– How Ian discovered the impact social media had on Molly.

32:10 – “If you discover something that is dangerous you try to do something about it.”
– Why Ian is channelling his loss into making changes around social media.

36:40 – “We’re a tiny charity but we have a big voice which is heard by many”
– Ian on the Molly Rose Foundation and the crucial work they’re doing.

40:45 – “An expert consultant psychiatrist… he said I can’t imagine what it would have done to a 14 year old”
– How the images Molly saw impacted professionals at her inquest.

45:33 – “Some of the content Molly saw over 5 years ago is still available… they haven’t removed it”
– Social media still hasn’t learnt from what happened to Molly.

47:13 – “Molly wrote… “I need you to live long, stay strong, I will see you in a little while when you’re old and gray”… it helps you find a way to keep going.”
– Molly’s message to Ian keeps him finding a way forward.

53:10 – Ian’s dad superpower.

Also on Dadvengers…

If you enjoyed this episode of the Dadvengers Podcast don’t forget to check out some of the others. We have dads from all sorts of backgrounds and industries talking about their journey’s through fatherhood. And more are being added all the time.

Whether you are male, female, and parent or a parenting professional there’s lots to be learned by listening to men tell their stories. We also have a comments box below if you’d like to leave your thoughts.

Another awesome guest that will hopefully inspire others to keep on learning as we parent. There is no one size fits all formula to being a dad we all have to adapt to whatever life throws at us.

If you want to hear more Dadvengers Podcast episodes the easiest way is to subscribe via your usual podcast provider. In addition you can always check back here on the website where all episodes are listed on the Podcast page.