Stephen Fry has revealed that an upsetting encounter with a "frothing" Ugandan politician who believed gay sex was worse than child rape led him to attempt suicide.
The presenter and author, who visited the central African nation for his LGBT documentary series Out There
in 2012, recalls the moment he returned to his hotel room and overdosed on sleeping pills and vodka in his new mental health series The Not So Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive: 10 Years On.
"I can recall interviewing a Ugandan minister who was a foaming frothing homophobe of the worst kind. It was a very passionate interview and I was very strong in my opinions," Fry says of his encounter with Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister for 'ethics and integrity', during the programme.
"I knew I had a bottle of vodka in my room and a whole sponge bag full of Ambien. I paced around trying to analyze what it was that disappeared from me and it seemed that the whole essence of me had disappeared.
"Everything that was me wasn’t there. Some feeling came over me that this was the end. I just carefully lined up I don’t know how many of those damn pills and drank all the vodka with them.
"The next thing I remember I was on the floor and an embarrassed member of the hotel is looking down at the carpet from the doorway, saying “you have just got to get him to a hospital."
Upon his return to the UK, Fry’s psychiatrist, Dr William Shanahan, says he seriously considered having the 58-year-old sectioned under the Mental Health Act for his own protection.
"I was worried enough about him to believe he might actually kill himself," he says.
The Not So Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive: 10 Years On
sees Fry return to the very personal subject matter of living day-to-day with manic depression, which he candidly spoke about in the award-winning two part series that first aired on the BBC back in 2006.
It will lead the BBC's 'In Your Mind' season; a week of programming of mental health content that will include stories across BBC News
, BBC Breakfast
,The One Show
, Inside Out and Eastenders
The programme airs on BBC1, Monday 15 February, 9pm.
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