VERBATIM

Did you think I would...

Rolf Harris spoke frankly about the lowest time of his life to Radio 1's Nicky Campbell last week

I was really depressed when they finished Rolf's Cartoon Club because we'd put such creativity and effort into making it something of interest. The thing was, if I hadn't been doing that I wouldn't have had the chance to do Animal Hospital, so one door closes and another one opens.

I was doing a concert tour in Australia and all of a sudden I had to hang on to the microphone to stay upright on stage. I had to prop myself against the piano. It was like the stage was tilting and I was falling and I got the most terrible vertigo. We had to cancel the whole tour. Went into hospital and it was a viral inner ear infection which threw my balance mechanism to glory.

I was about three weeks lying in a hospital bed. They gave me steriods to get rid of it, to hasten the departure of the virus. But what it did was it had me on such a high you wouldn't believe. I had to take a sleeping pill to get two hours' sleep, just a ludicrous high. Running everywhere and writing 48-page letters to people in the long excesses of the night when there's nothing to do. Incredible, I read them back and I can't believe I wrote this rubbish.

When I came off the pills, when it was all finished, the effect was still there, I was still on this awful high and running and expecting everyone to run with me at my speed and getting really angry with people when they didn't understand what I was on about. And eventually I came down off that high and went into the complete opposite, a depression like I'd never felt before. When people say now that they are in depression I know what they mean, because it was just awful.

You knew nothing was ever going to be right and when I came out it I didn't want any more drugs to get me out of that. I just thought if I wait long enough, it'll get better of its own accord, which it thankfully did. So it all started with medication? Yeah, if anyone ever points steroids at me again, forget it! No thanks, I'll suffer, thanks very much.

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