Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear fame, has announced in a newspaper column over the weekend that he could have died from a recent bout of pneumonia.

The TV presenter suddenly became ill while on holiday in Mallorca, Spain earlier this month, and says he spent "three nights spasming" in his bed before being sent to hospital for tests.

Clarkson, who writes in his Sunday Times column that he has "never been ill" in his entire adult life, was told he would need to be admitted for at least a week. When he insisted that it would be "impossible" for him to stay in bed that long, a doctor reportedly told him, "If you don't do as I say, you will die".

Not the sort of bangles I usually choose on holiday

A post shared by Jeremy Clarkson (@jeremyclarkson1) on

The experience, he says, was a trying one for the car enthusiast and he was so bored at times that he often thought about killing himself.

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"I'm sure many of you will have found yourself in hospital, not having planned to be there," Clarkson says. "But for me it was a new experience. And a weird one. Because I was in a room with nothing on the walls except wallpaper, and most of that was coming off."

"This is the problem with hospitals," he says. "People who stay in them become institutionalised and incapable of speaking about anything other than what nurse brought what drug at what time. Boredom turns them into bores."

"And when they get out, as I have, and there is nothing to do for two whole months apart from get better, things are even worse, because all I can talk about is my illness."

With a long recovery ahead of him, Clarkson has told readers on Drivetribe (a "digital home of all the motoring tribes under the sun") he will be "out of action for quite some time".

"It's really, really annoying because I've never had one day off work since I started in 1978," he wrote.