Stephen Fry attempted suicide last year, the actor and presenter has revealed.
Interviewed on Monday night by Richard Herring for the comedian's long-running Leicester Square Theatre podcast, Fry told the audience that he ingested a mix of drugs and vodka while filming on location last year.
"This is the first time I’ve said this in public," Fry said. "I’m president of Mind and the whole point of my role, as I see it, is not to be shy about the morbidity and the genuine likelihood of death among people with certain mood disorders if they don’t look after it."
Fry, who opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder in the award-winning 2006 documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, said he was found unconscious in his hotel room by the film's producer. "It was a close-run thing. I took a huge number of pills and a huge amount of vodka. The mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs – but I was still unconscious.
"You may say, 'How can anybody who’s got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all?' That’s the point, there is no why. That’s not the right question. There is no reason. If there was reason for it, you could reason someone out of it."
Of his ongoing condition, Fry said: "When I’m conscious, when I’m rational, I realise that being Stephen Fry is a very happy thing to be. People are extraordinarily nice. Mostly it’s great, but there are times on stage or when I’m doing QI and laughing, but inside I’m going: 'I want to f***ing die.'"
Although Herring had described the interview as "utterly extraordinary" and audience members had concurred with the host on social media, Fry's remarks only became widely known when the encounter became available as a video podcast this morning. Fry tweeted a link to his 5.8m Twitter followers, describing the interview as "intimate" and saying, "He somehow made me open up."
If you need support with distress, despair or suicidal thoughts, please contact The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.