General Article Freddie Flintoff: how I kept my eating disorder a secret

Topic Selected: Body Image Book Volume: 375

He first stepped into the spotlight as a jack-the-lad cricketer, now the star is opening up about his long battle with bulimia

By Guy Kelly

There are, by his own admission, two versions of Freddie Flintoff. The first is Fred, the man who has lived in the public eye for the better part of two decades, initially as the England cricket team’s biggest character –and most prodigious talent – in the 2000s, then as a host of Top Gear and a team captain on Sky’s A League of Their Own. Fred was, and is, a ‘jack the lad’: a social animal who parties as hard as he bowled, who’s quick with a joke and seemingly fearless.

Then there’s Andrew, Flintoff’s real first name, who is a man the public haven’t ever really met. Quiet and endlessly self-doubting, this Flintoff has lived with a secret for most of his life: since he was a teenager, he has been suffering from bulimia.

‘Fred is that person who goes out on a cricket field or drives cars,’ he says in a new BBC documentary, Freddie Flintoff: Livin...

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