Ryan Thomas: ‘This past year has made Lucy and I stronger’

The actor talks family, friends and helping other

Ryan Thomas Lucy Mecklenburgh ten marathons

by Ryan Thomas |
Published on

Some days, we barely take ten steps out the door, let alone hit that daily 10k step goal. But on 10 May, Ryan Thomas will be putting us all to shame – and for a very good cause, too – by embarking on an absolute whopper of a walking challenge. Over ten days, the former Coronation Street star will be walking the equivalent of ten marathons, covering the 262 miles from London to Manchester to raise money and awareness for the mental health charity CALM.

Speaking to heat, the 36 year old tells us why he’s determined to use his platform for good, and how his family (he’s engaged to Lucy Mecklenburgh, with whom he shares 13-month-old son Roman, and is also dad to Scarlett, 12, with ex-Corrie star Tina O’Brien) are supporting him every gruelling step of the way…

What inspired this challenge?

This year has highlighted how important it is to focus on mental health – we’ve all had a friend or family member who has struggled, and it’s something we’ve got to act on. If you look at CALM’s helpline, the trained staffthere directly prevented 564 suicides in 2020. They’re big numbers, and it makes sense to use my platform to help people. If I can make it 565 – if I can change that one person’s life, and save it – I’ve done a good job.

How’s the training going?

Good! I’ve now walked about five marathons over two months, and I’m doing another one on Friday. It’s all about preparation, letting my body know it’s something it can do. Lucy [who has her own health and wellness platform, Results With Lucy] put me onto a nutritionist and I’ve got a great team helping me. But challenges aren’t supposed to be easy.

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WATCH Ryan, Adam & Scott Thomas laugh through this ENTIRE interview

How important is it for you to open up about mental health?

It’s so important. I’ve got a WhatsApp group with all my friends and we’re always talking about our feelings. Men, in particular, need to do that more often. The other day, I posted a text on Instagram that my daughter had sent me, telling me how much she loved me – I wanted people to know that they should message somebody and just let them know they’re loved.

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How did you and Lucy manage lockdown with a new baby?

Everybody’s been through a struggle this past year, but we’ve come out of this stronger. It’s made me realise how amazing a mother she is and how incredibly she’s adapted. There’s no rule book for parenting, but she’s an inspiration to mothers and I’m glad that she’s been able to use her platform to help others, as well. I’m very proud.

Ryan is walking ten marathons in ten days, raising money for mental health and suicide prevention charity CALM. To donate, visit Justgiving.com/fundraising/ryan-thomas36.

Read more in the latest issue of heat magazine – OUT NOW.

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