Brave Brian Cullinan was stunned to see his life unfold on TV... played by Dr Who star David Tennant.
former Sunday Mail journalist was moved to tears by the actor's portrayal of his struggle back to health after a horror accident.
Brian, 59, said: "When David's character broke out of hospital dressed in his pyjamas and walked down the street saying,
'I want to be back with my wife' - that was me.
"I was out in the streets after leaving the hospital saying, 'I don't
know why I'm in here'.
Tennant and Cutting It star Sarah Parish based their characters in new drama Recovery on Brian
and wife Chris after spending hours chatting to the couple.
Brian suffered serious brain injuries after being run over
by a car three years ago in London.
Chris and the couple's two sons, Daniel and Patrick, rushed from their home in Teddington,
Middlesex, to his hospital bedside as surgeons fought to save his life.
He went on to stun medics with the quick progress
he made after brain surgery.
Brian spent seven months in Kingston Hospital, London, followed by 10 weeks at the Wolfson
Neurorehabilitation Centre in Wimbledon.
Wife Chris said: "The social worker at the Wolfson was asked by the producer
of the film if she could suggest someone they could consult and she mentioned us.
"They came to see us and then we didn't
hear anything for about a year-and-a-half before we got a call asking if David Tennant and Sarah Parish could come round to
talk to us, as they were going to be playing the husband and wife in the film.
"They spent the day with us and they were
very nice and charming but also very focused and professional."
Although the names and some details have been changed,
the BBC1 drama is clearly based on Brian's incredible battle.
Tennant plays a father of two sons who is hit by a lorry
and faces a painful and difficult rehabilitation.
Brian, who worked for the Sunday Mail in the 1970s and 80s, struggled
with his emotions as he watched.
He said: "I was stunned. I've never seen anything so personally moving.
up in tears, which has never happened to me before." In another scene, Tennant struggles to cope in the kitchen, which Brian
Chris added: "I wasn't watching it as a TV drama, I was feeling for the woman.
"I'm sure some people
would think how awful the wife was for shouting at him and getting angry.
"But I can quite understand why she did. I can
understand how she was at the end of her tether."
Brian carved out a successful career as a London-based reporter for
the Sunday Mail and Daily Record. He revealed how intruder Michael Fagan breached security at Buckingham Palace, for which
he won the Scoop of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards in 1982.
His accident happened near the Tower of London as he
left a function organised by a newspaper.
He was crossing the road when he was hit by a speeding car.
At first doctors
feared he would be brain damaged but he can now walk, talk and function normally, although he has faced up to the fact that
he will never work again.
And he has been joking with his wife about some of the differences in the drama.
laughing: "In the film, David's wife ran off with some other bloke and had an affair with him. I don't think Chris did that!
"He also ended up with no money and had to move to a smaller house, which we didn't need to do because of insurance."
Recovery will be broadcast early next year.
Source: The Sunday Mail