Rob Beckett on ‘darker’ moments in his new memoir: ‘A lot of working-class men struggle with mental health’

Comedian says he felt he needed to write about his experiences after losing friends to suicide

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 12 October 2021 10:41
Rob Beckett documents his wild night out after watching England defeat Germany at the Euros
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Rob Beckett has opened up about the “darker” moments in his new book that discuss the issue of mental health.

The comedian wrote his memoir, A Class Act: Life As a Working-Class Man in a Middle-Class World, during the pandemic. In it, he details how he felt like an outsider during early appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe, growing up in a working class household, and struggling academically.

Speaking to The Guardian, the 35-year-old said he is “as healthy as he has ever been” but still finds himself, on occasions, being overwhelmed by a sense of dread.

He said that his book goes “a bit darker” at points, explaining: “I thought: I do need to put this out. I’ve lost a lot of friends to suicide. A lot of working-class men struggle with mental health and I think I can’t go out there and be Mr Jack the Lad, constantly on the telly, and not tell the truth of how I’m feeling.”

In an interview with The Sun earlier this week, Beckett revealed that he had experienced suicidal thoughts in 2020.

“I was the unhappiest I have ever been,” he said. “I woke up on January in a five-star hotel room thinking it would be better and easier for ­everyone if I was dead. I put on a smile and finished filming. I got back to the UK and told my wife and my friend/manager how I felt.”

Beckett added that he “went straight to a therapist”, whom he saw every week for six months.

“I still check in with the therapist when I feel the ­darkness creep in,” wrote the comedian.

“I am telling you this as I always promote the message that people should talk about mental health, but I rarely do,” he continued. “So here I am, talking. I wanted to die when I had everything I ever wanted. So never judge yourself for feeling low. Tell someone and they will help you feel better.”

Beckett’s book is released on 14 October by HarperCollins.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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