Stephen Fry reveals attempted suicide
Stephen Fry has revealed that he attempted suicide in 2012, but was saved by his producer.
Speaking to Richard Herring on Monday night for Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Fry revealed to a shocked audience at the central London venue that he made a suicide bid whilst filming overseas last year.
Fry has long been open about his suffering from the at-times debilitating mental condition, bipolar disorder (manic depression), and is President of mental health charity Mind.
Amongst numerous symptoms, bipolar disorder primarily manifests as inflicting upon Fry, and others with the condition, drastic mood swings, between hyperactive positivity and deep depression.
Stephen Fry said: "I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don't get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide."
Speaking about suicide, he added: "I would go as far as to tell you that I attempted it last year, so I'm not always happy - this is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well. I'm president of Mind, and the whole point in my role, as I see it, is not to be shy and forthcoming about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people certain mood disorders."
He elaborated: "It was a close run thing. I took a huge number of pills and a huge [amount] of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs, but I was still unconscious. And, fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after."
In an attack on the stigma of mental health problems, Fry attempted to convey to non-sufferers the lack of reasoning behind depression.
He explained: "There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life.
"All my friends when they heard about this, and my family when they eventually heard about it, came to visit me in the hospital said 'Why didn't you call?'. And I said, it's a very odd thing, but put it this way: It's a cheap and silly way of putting it, but it's just as true...
"Think of your very best friend. Very, very best friend. Suppose you suddenly noticed you had a massive and really disturbing genital wart... would you show it to your very best friend? No, no... you might show it to a stranger, a doctor, a genital urinary specialist, or to Doctor Christian I suppose on Embarrassing Bodies - or in the street in his case. But, the weird thing is, although friendship is what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the 'masterpiece of nature', it is a thing we all celebrate, oddly enough it doesn't solve things like that."
Talking of other symptoms of bipolar disorder, Fry said: "If un-medicated, there are times when I am so exuberant, so hyper, that I can go three or four nights without sleeping and I'm writing and I'm doing stuff and I'm so grandiose and so full of self-belief that it's almost impossible to deal with me. I can't stop speaking, I'm incredible, I go on shopping sprees..."
He jokingly added: "Fortunately one of the common signs of mania, or hyper-mania as it is known, is sexual exhibitionism. I don't have that as one of my brands, but others do."
Fry concluded: "There are times when I'm doing QI and I'm going 'ha ha, yeah, yeah', and inside I'm going 'I want to fucking die. I... want... to... fucking... die.'"
Stephen Fry was appearing as the guest on Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. The weekly series is in the middle of a six-episode run, recorded each Monday evening in central London, with a fourth, six-part series planned for September. The show picked up the Bronze award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards last month, the first podcast to be recognised in the main comedy category.
A video of the full 90 minute interview can be downloaded now from Go Faster Stripe for £3.50. The free audio podcast version will be released via this website and iTunes at noon on Thursday.
In the following video, published when Fry took over the Mind charity's presidency in September 2011, the comedian explains the work of the organisation:
For more information about the work of mental health charity Mind, visit their official website
Story edit, 6th June - additional media added:
The full 90 minute podcast interview (podcast page):
Two video clips from other parts of the interview:
Fry talks about his time in prison:
Fry admits he has never read The Hobbit:
ITV will return to the London Palladium in 2015 for a second revived series of the comic variety format.
Prolific British comedy writing team The Dawson Brothers are working on The Spencer Tapes, a sitcom for NBC in America.
A second attempt is to be made to re-work Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd for American audiences. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence is working on a NBC pilot.
Moone Boy, the Sky sitcom created by Chris O'Dowd, is to be re-made by the US television network ABC.
Channel 4 has confirmed that its topical comedy show 10 O'Clock Live starring Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell and Lauren Laverne will not return.
Last Of The Summer Wine Producer and Director Alan J W Bell has filmed a spin-off pilot starring Ken Kitson and Louis Emerick as policemen Cooper and Walsh.
The Cofilmic Comedy Film Festival 2014 -has announced various cheap panels and workshops for creators. Read
Jason Byrne talks about why Father Figure didn't work, his next TV show, and touring his new live show. Read
An interview with the authors behind the comedic novels from new publishing outfit Teckle Books. Read
The League of Gentlemen and Sherlock star Mark Gatiss is Richard Herring's funny guest in this episode. Listen
A report from the charity gig in which two comedy heavyweights collided: Daniel Kitson and Stuart Lee. Read
Hatty Ashdown, the creator of Comedy Central's new sitcom Give Out Girls, introduces her show here. Read
Alan Carr talks about co-hosting Channel 4's charity fundraising night Stand Up To Cancer on Friday. Read
An interview with Gary Sinyor, the creator of the football-based comedy film United We Fall. Read
Richard Herring's hit interview show is back for a new series. The first guest is Katherine Ryan. Listen
Ahead of the publication of his new book, John Cleese talks to Eddie Izzard about various comedy topics. Watch
Entry is now open for the WeGotTickets Musical Comedy Awards 2015. The heats start in mid-January. Read
TV channel Gold has launched its 2014 search for the best new Christmas cracker jokes. Read
Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein talks about Series 3 of The Revolution Will Be Televised. Read
Double act Guilt & Shame explain the importance of having a comedy show that is about something. Read
Chris Ramsey talks about tackling Katie Hopkins on Celebrity Juice and more in this interview. Read
Angela Barnes talks about the comedy career ladder, Mock The Week, and having her GP on speed dial. Read
Michael McIntyre, Jimmy Carr and Peter Kay are top of a list of the UK's best known stand-ups. Read
Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria - aka EastEnd Cabaret - answer questions about each other. Read
Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival have launched their 2015 Silver Comedy stand-up competition. Read
Tom Edge, the creator of Channel 4's Scrotal Recall writes about the show. Plus interviews with the key cast. Read
Sarah Campbell talks about getting 'lizard brain' whilst filming undercover on ITV2's Bad Bridesmaid. Read
Interview. Rhod Gilbert talks about taking on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, plus his sitcom plans. Read
Modern Toss are presenting an exhibition celebrating 10 years of 'unique cack-handed drawings'. Read
Ryan Sampson - aka Grumio from Plebs - talks about how Bulgaria doesn't understand bare bums. Read
London Hughes describes how she had to turn herself into a horrid diva for ITV2 show Bad Bridesmaid. Read