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Will Mellor speaks about grieving the loss of his 'hero' dad to help men understand 'it's OK not to be OK'

Will Mellor joined the Loose Women to speak about the death of his "hero" father in the hopes of encouraging others - particularly men - in similar situations to open up about how they're feeling.

Will, who originally shared the news of his father's passing in an emotional social media post in April, told the panel that losing his dad in lockdown conditions had been difficult. Watch the chat below.

"I got a phone call out of the blue that he collapsed, he’d had a seizure," Will explained. "Then he got taken in, then they found a mass on his lung and it had gone to his brain, and that was what was causing the seizure, and it was cancer."

He told the panel that, due to social distancing guidelines, he hadn't been able to hug his father before he passed away, within two weeks of his diagnosis. And he hasn't yet been able to hug his mother either.

"It's tough. She's a very strong woman. She’s got my sisters up there [the north]. I live down south, I went up there when I could, I was scared of breaking any rules. But we’re a close family, I speak to her all the time."

Will paid tribute to his father and said he found comfort in his memories of their many adventures together.

"I did a lot with my dad, he was my hero. I’d been dreading the day he’d pass away for a long time, so I thought: 'we have to make sure we fill in the pages now and go and do things.’"

"We went everywhere together, went to Vegas, watched boxing, went to stay with people in Borneo, went to see orangutans, I have amazing memories. He said to me a lot: 'when I go, don’t be too upset, I've had a great life.' That’s what's keeping me together, the memories."

"I'm glad I had those things with him and that’s where I’ll be getting my strength from in the future," he added.

Will explained that he wanted to speak about his experience because he always encourages others to open up online. "I found myself in a dark place, so I thought I’d be a hypocrite if I don’t talk about it,” he said.

He gave his support to Loose Women's Stand By Your Men campaign, which encourages viewers to talk to their men in their lives about mental health.

"I just wanted to speak today to say it is OK not to be OK… it’s OK to reach out. I’ve had amazing support,” he said.

Find more information about mental health and the supports available here.

Watch Loose Women weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV, STV and the ITV Hub.

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