Stephen Fry reveals suicide attempt

By Daily Mail

Stephen Fry has admitting attempting suicide last year. Photo / AP
Stephen Fry has admitting attempting suicide last year. Photo / AP

Stephen Fry has revealed he tried to commit suicide last year and was only saved by a producer who discovered his unconscious body, according to the Daily Mail.

The actor and presenter, 55, who has a history of depression, has admitted for the first time that he was in a hotel room abroad and took "a huge number of pills with a large amount of vodka".

He then fell unconscious but the mixture made his body convulse so violently he broke four ribs, Fry told fellow comedian Richard Herring in a podcast to be released tomorrow.

A producer on the programme he was filming called in to see him later and found the body and got help.

The actor was based last year in Wellington while he was filming The Hobbit - however the location of the suicide attempt and the project he was working on are not revealed in the interview.

Fry, presenter of panel show QI as well as an author, actor and compulsive Twitter user, revealed all in an interview as part of Herring's series of podcasts for the British Comedy Guide website.

He tweeted today: "Thank you all for your concern. As Pres of @mindcharity I could only tell truth if asked directly. Now fine. On good meds. Love to you all x."

Previously he has spoken about his struggle with bipolar and how he feared he may attempt suicide.

There is a high lifetime suicide risk in patients with the disorder - between 25 and 56 per cent make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetime and up to 19 per cent will die from the attempt.

Other high profile people who have the condition include Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Mr Fry's interview was conducted last Monday in front of a live audience at a London theatre and is the 18th in a series which are generally meant to be comic as well as revealing.

Talking about suicide, he said: "I would go as far as to tell you that I attempted it last year, so that I'm not always happy.

"This is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well..."

He went on: "And, um, it was a close run thing. I took a huge number of pills with a large 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."

Fry told Herring that as president of mental health charity Mind, he felt he should talk about his own episodes of depression.

He said: "I'm president of Mind, and the whole point is 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 with certain mood disorders if they don't look after it, if they think they can do without their medication or without the regular visits to a doctor, without taking care of themselves."

He added: "Now, you may say, how can anyone who has got a got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all?"

In 2006 Fry spoke in depth about his battle with manic depression in a BBC2 documentary, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.

The actor and comedian attempted suicide after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates in 1995.

He fled Britain by ferry and was missing, feared dead, for a week before he resurfaced in Belgium.

Stephen Fry said in 2011 that he found the demands of fame 'exhausting' - and feared he may one day kill himself.


Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

Youth services: (06) 3555 906

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)

Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)

The Word

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

CASPER Suicide Prevention

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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