Stephen Fry reveals TV producer saved his life after he attempted suicide last year
The QI presenter Stephen Fry, 55, shocked a London audience when he opened up about his bipolar disorder and violent mood swings that led to his producer finding him unconscious after taking a concoction of pills mid filming.
Mr Fry told audiences of a live interview with Richard Herring as part of the Leicester Square Theatre Podcast: “It was a close-run thing. I took a huge number of pills and a huge amount of [alcohol]. The mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs – but I was still unconscious. Fortunately the producer – I was filming at the time – came into the hotel room and I was found in an unconscious state and taken back and looked after.”
As president of the health charity Mind, Fry has often spoken about his own struggle with bipolar disorder, including in a BBC documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive as a way to raise awareness for other sufferers.
The comic actor explained: “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.”
Despite his candid confession Fry admitted he finds it hard to talk to family and friends, yet it is remembering his family in his darkest hours that prevents him from suicide.
He said: “Sometimes it’s the expression I imagine on my mother and father’s face – both of whom are alive and happy – that stops me. But there are other occasions when I can’t stop myself, or at least I feel I can’t.”
“All my friends and family, when they eventually heard about it (the suicide attempt), came to visit me in hospital all said, ‘Well, why didn’t you call?’”
He added: “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.”