Rick Stein said he still struggles to "forgive" his father for committing suicide when he was a teenager.

The celebrity chef was 17 when his father Eric, who had bipolar disorder, died during a family holiday in Cornwall.

Now 72, Stein says the pain of losing loved ones "doesn't get any easier".

"It's very hard to forgive people that kill themselves," he told Radio Times.

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Stein said he still responds to his father's "style, his sense of humour, his sort of pleasure in things". But he added: "You realise you've been damaged by the same person as well. He [Eric] didn't really take it out on his children, he was never cruel to us. It was just that he had his own demons."

Eric was 58 when he committed suicide while on a coastal walk.

"I had to deal with pretty major catastrophe at an early age," Stein said.

"Losing close relatives doesn't get any easier, really, but losing your parents is the big deal. I think for me I just keep feeling the need to prove yourself, and that's probably from having a slightly overpowering father." But Stein added that the tragedy has given him perspective in later life.

"The things that were so dramatic and catastrophic in the early days, you know will come right. I'm not scared by the things I was scared of in my 30s and 40s," he said.

Stein has three sons with his ex-wife Jill Newstead. He married his Australian book publicist Sarah Burns in 2011 and is stepfather to her two children.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

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0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
https://www.lifeline.org.nz/services/suicide-crisis-helpline
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202