Ex-Army Veteran, Amputee and Team GB Invictus Games Athlete Dan Richards on Overcoming a Suicide Attempt, Losing an Arm and Co-Hosting Channel 4’s Naked Beach with Jsky on his latest podcast
Team GB Invictus Games star and fellow Naked Beach host Dan Richards opens up to singer, songwriter, fashionista Jsky on the latest episode of his hit podcast series Jsky Chat – The Podcast.
Dan Richards on waking up without an arm following an almost fatal horrific accident.
I remember waking up in hospital, initially. They pulled me out of the coma. It was quite bad…The accident should have killed me outright. The doctor came in and he was like “yeah, Mr Richards you’ve been in a horrific motorcycle accident. You’re very lucky to be alive but unfortunately after 6 and a half hours of surgery we were unable to save your arm and shoulder.”I remember looking over to the right-hand side of my body and where my arm should have been was the pillow. I was a 23 year old man and the fact that a quarter of my upper body was gone and is never coming back was a massive shock to the system. I just said to the nurse “excuse me, but is the plumbing still attached and working?”. She went “that’s absolutely fine”, so I went “well, you know what nothing else really matters does it”.There are people worse off than me and I can get over this. I suppose looking back on that moment now…that was the moment I accepted my situation which enabled me the mental capacity to adapt to this new way of life. For the rest of my life I’m going to be a man with one arm.Dan Richards on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Dan Richards now describes losing an arm as one of the best things that happened to him after his mum found him attempting to commit suicide.
When I tell people that losing my arm and shoulder was one of the best things that could have possibly happened to me, they look at me like I’ve got 4 heads. I mean, at the time I wasn’t thinking “oh I’ve lost my arm and shoulder, this is going to be brilliant”. When something really bad happens to you it kind of changes you. When you go through trauma like I’ve had to, it changes your entire outlook on life.
Tomorrow’s not guarenteed. I nearly lost my life. The paramedic thought that once I’d been helicoptered to hospital, I’d die on the way. My outlook on living is just do good for today. I know what it’s like to have nothing. I’ve been there. Looking back I wouldn’t change anything. A series of events had to happen for me to get to where I am today.
Dan Richards on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
After a failed suicide attempt, Dan Richards now offers the following advice to anyone thinking about ending it all.
You absolutely need to open up to someone. The minute you tell somebody that you’re not alright…that’s the biggest step anyone can take.
If I’m ever having a bad day, and everyone has them, even the most positive person in the world…if I’m ever having a bad day I talk about it.
Dan Richards on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Dan Richards recalls his surprise at getting signed to a modelling agency as an amputee, and then getting selected to host Naked Beach and represent Team GB in the Invictus Games.
When I was going through the casting process for Naked Beach, I was also going through the selection process for the Invictus Games. I was using Instagram to track my progress with cycling and that’s how I got into modelling. When they approached me I thought it was a con at first.The day I got told that I had been selected by Channel 4 for Naked Beach was the same day I got an email that said “congratulations you’ve been selected for Team GB for the Invictus Games”. 2018 was very much a pinch me kind of year.Dan Richards on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
With an extensive history as a magazine editor and TV personality, Naked Beach star Jsky has interviewed everyone from Mark Ronson, to wil.i.am. He was accredited as an LGBTQ+ Pioneer of Colour by LGBT Foundation during Black History Month and was interviewed live on the world stage by The Economist Deputy Editor Tom Standage on topics of mental health, social media and body confidence during their Open Future Festival: Shaping the agenda for the 21st century. He is also the Showbiz Correspondent for BBC Radio Manchester and was a host on the hit body confidence phenomenon Channel 4 show Naked Beach.
“I started the podcast to continue a conversion. I had built a reputation for provoking thought from my outfit choices but I am more than the clothes that I wear and there was so much more I wanted to speak about.”“We are only as powerful as the stories we tell ourselves and I wanted to empower others by interviewing people with an inspirational message.”“A local hero who overcomes a potentially career ending injury to become a world champion boxing legend, the story of how Andy Burnham rose to become the first elect Major of Manchester…these are not only stories I wanted to gain insight in, but stories I felt should be shared.” Jsky on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Jsky Chat – The Podcast | Episode 9 with Dan Richards out now
Past interviewees include the first elected Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham, world champion boxer Anthony Crolla, five-time champion trampolinist Luke Strong, British comedian and actor Will Mellor, and BAFTA nominated actors Katie McGlynn and Rob Mallard.