British comedian and national treasure Stephen Fry tried to commit suicide a year ago, he confessed during a podcast taping. During an interview with comic Richard Herring on his popular Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Fry said that he “took a huge number of pills and a huge amount of vodka. The mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs – but I was still unconscious.” Fry was on location at the time (anyone who follows his pioneering Twitter feed knows he bounces around the globe filming movies and documentaries) and was found in his hotel room by a producer who sought medical help. He has spoken frequently in the past about his battles with mental illness and manic depression, even making an Emmy-winning documentary, Stephen Fry: The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive; he’s also the president of British mental health charity Mind.
Fry has been a popular comedian in the UK since the 1980s, when he and comedy partner Hugh Laurie made a name for themselves with shows like A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Blackadder, and he currently hosts the beloved panel show QI. He is widely adored in the UK today, with BBC Four dedicating two nights of programming to him for his 50th birthday back in 2007. Through it all, he said in the interview, his struggle with mental health issues has remained.
‘When I’m conscious, when I’m rational, I realise that being Stephen Fry is a very happy thing to be; people are extraordinarily nice to me. Mostly it’s great, but there are times when you’re on stage or when I’m doing QI and laughing [on the outside], but inside I’m going “I want to fucking die.”’