Michael Barrymore: 'I tried to overdose on prescription pills'

Comedian also opened up about his rocky relation with his ex-wife,coming out and his battle with addiction

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The Independent Online

Michael Barrymore broke down in tears as he recounted the moment he tried to overdose on prescription pills in a candid television interview.

Speaking on The Jeremy Kyle Show, the comedian revealed he tried to overdose four years ago in what he described as a "cry for help" as he battled depression and addiction.

He said: "I’ve been taken off to the hospital a couple of times. Pills too many pills, just chuck a load… I bought them from the chemist. I think that was a cry for help."

"When you’re in the depths and the throes of your depression and your addiction, I end up in the corner of the room staring at the wall and it doesn’t matter how big the house is or how small the flat is, you end up in exactly the same spot...What’s the point (of life)?,” he added.

Mr Barrymore, who came out in 1995, also spoke about his complicated relationship with his ex-wife, Cheryl, who died of lung cancer in 2005, and his pain for missing her funeral following reports that he was barred from attending the ceremony. The couple were married for 21 years.

Holding back tears, he said: "I wasn't allowed to go to the funeral but I found out [when I came back to live in England about four years ago] and her sister Carol rang me up and said ‘I’d like to see you’ and she said ‘You know all those things in the paper about Cheryl not wanting you to come to the funeral, it’s all nonsense she never said that’."

In her memoirs, Catch A Falling Star: My Life With Michael Barrymore, Cheryl, said he had been the love of her life and said she was devastated when he came out as gay despite claims that he had physically abused her. The comedian denied he was abusive.

Mr Barrymore also addressed the death of Stuart Lubbock, a partygoer who was found dead in his Essex mansion in 2001, prompting a series of allegations and speculation that rocked his career, adding: "They did wipe out my career but they did not wipe me out, I’m still here".

The presenter of shows including Strike It Lucky and My Kind Of Music  said he felt responsible for inviting strangers to his home and lamented the death of Mr Lubbock.

"Because I didn’t know who they were and I know the dad’s again very angry and upset and wants answers, of course he does, but whatever happened to me, never forget the most important thing is them losing their loved one.

"I think I had a lot to do with it, I think I gave them [the press] a lot on a plate when I should have gone for the second thought instead of the first thought. I’m not a monster, I don’t deserve to have had done to me what I’ve had done but it’s happened so I just get on with my life," he added.

Jeremy Kyle: Celebrity Specials airs daily all week on ITV at 2pm