‘I might kill myself’ admits Stephen Fry
Bipolar comedian says being famous is ‘exhausting’ and he hasn’t read a paper since the 1990s
He may be a national treasure with millions of fans on the social networking site Twitter, but Stephen Fry fears that his bipolar disorder may one day lead him to kill himself. The QI presenter says that he finds being famous "exhausting", hates being a public figure and has not read a paper for 13 years.
Talking about his mental health problems in a TV interview with Laurie Taylor for the Sky Arts channel, Fry said: "The fact that I am lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn't mean I won't one day kill myself – I may well."
The 53-year-old comedian, who is set to star in Peter Jackson's movie version of The Hobbit, described bipolar disorder as "one of the most serious morbid conditions that is present in Britain".
But he added that one of the few upsides of fame was being able to publicise its effects without being stigmatised. Fry, who suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 while starring in a West End play, later made a BBC documentary called Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic-Depressive.
Fry also attacked the media during the interview. He singled out newspaper columnists like Janet Street Porter, who he described as a "friend", for being "deliberately provocative" about sensitive issues.
Fry explained: "[They] say, 'Oh, why do celebrities bang on about it?' Well, there's a good reason. There are millions out there whose lives are utterly blighted."
He also said that he had not read a newspaper since the 1990s but announced, "I've yet to meet anyone who reads newspapers who knows more about what's going on in the world than me."
Talking about the pressure of being famous, he said: "It is exhausting knowing that most of the time the phone rings, most of the time there's an email, most of the time there's a letter, someone wants something of you. They want to touch the hem of the fame, not the hem of the person.
"I feel I would love to close down for a number of years in some way and just be in the country making pork pies and chutneys and never have to poke my head out of the parapet."
In the interview, which airs tonight, Fry also admits that he used to take cocaine because he found it made doing crosswords more enjoyable. ·
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