Comedian Rob Beckett reveals secret mental health struggle: I wanted to die

·Contributor
·3 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 06: Rob Beckett attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021 at Television Centre on June 06, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Rob Beckett has admitted he suffered a mental breakdown at one of the most successful points of his career. (Getty Images)

Rob Beckett has confessed to suffering a mental health breakdown that left him "thinking it would be better if I was dead".

The 35-year-old comedian and father-of-two reveals in his new autobiography A Class Act that in January 2020, while in South Africa filming TV show Rob & Ramesh Vs with fellow comic Romesh Ranganathan, he woke up wanting to die.

Beckett writes: "On January 4, 2020, I was nailing it. I had just flown into Cape Town, South Africa, in first class to film a TV show. The show was watching cricket, drinking beer and going on safari with one of my best mates AND getting paid.

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"This filming was squeezed in ­during a nationwide sell-out tour. Happily married to the love of my life, with two kids in a family home newly renovated, I had surpassed my wildest dreams.

"But I was the unhappiest I have ever been. I woke up on January 5 in a five-star hotel room thinking it would be better and easier for ­everyone if I was dead."

Nasser Hussain, Rob Beckett, Romesh Ranganathan in Rob and Romesh Vs (Sky)
Nasser Hussain, Rob Beckett, Romesh Ranganathan in Rob and Romesh Vs (Sky)

The Lockdown Parenting Hell podcast presenter revealed he quickly confessed to his family the truth about how he was feeling and sought professional help.

He wrote: "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.

"Then I went straight to a ­therapist, who I saw weekly for six months, and I still check in with the therapist when I feel the ­darkness creep in.

"I am telling you this as I always promote the message that people should talk about mental health, but I rarely do.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Rob Beckett performs during  Absolute Radio Live at the London Palladium on November 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Rob Beckett has said he is still learning to be as confident in everyday life as his on stage persona. (Getty Images)

"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."

And the TV star said he has learned not to compare himself with others.

He told his readers: "The truth is that if I'd carried on working that hard, it would all have fallen apart. 

"But acknowledging that I was unhappy and doing something about it, along with having time off to recover and reflect, rejuvenated me. 

Kevin Pietersen, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan in Rob and Romesh Vs (Sky)
Kevin Pietersen, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan in Rob and Romesh Vs (Sky)

"I am now ­motivated by excitement and possibilities, not the fear of losing it all. I no longer set targets based on what other people see as success.

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"Each day can be a success if you go to bed after enjoying your day and you look ­forward to the next one. 

"It has taken a long time and been quite a journey to get to this place, but I think Rob Beckett the person is learning to be as ­confident as Rob Beckett the performer."

If you are in need of emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website, www.samaritans.org.

Watch: Rob Beckett documents his Euro 2020 England V Germany celebrations

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