Hackney rapper Professor Green has confessed he was “petrified” to open up about the emotional upheaval that followed the suicide of his father in 2008.

But now he feels “empowered” after fronting a BBC documentary on male suicide he told the Being A Man Festival at the Southbank Centre .

He told the audience: “It was really difficult for me to say yes, it wasn’t what I signed up for, I wasn’t totally sure I was ready to do that.

“Despite in my own head thinking that I had dealt with it and I had processed it, it became apparent quite quickly that I hadn’t.’’

The rapper said living in a single-parent family, where a father-figure is absent, could lead to young men being forced to suppress their feelings.

He said: “The father figure isn’t there, so (the mother) wants to be harder on their child because that is what the man would do – so then that child doesn’t understand sensitivity, he has a lot of emotions but he can’t communicate them either to his mother.

“I found, through dealing with my own issues, that discussion is important for me, really important.’’

However, Professor Green lightened the mood at festival when he said he was finding it “emasculating’’ that he couldn't open his water bottle on stage.