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Rob Beckett has revealed that he has been battling a secret mental health battle and at one point even believed he was “better off dead”.
The blonde I’m A Celebrity comic was filming in South Africa last year when he had the dark thoughts and also said he had been plagued with self-doubt throughout his career, thinking he was not good enough and would not be able to support his family.
Rob, 35, from Deptford in south east London, has written a candid autobiography addressing his mental health issues and how despite seeming to “have it all”, he was desperately unhappy.
Rob, who is married to the “love of his life” and has two young children, is on a mission to promote the message that “people should talk about mental health”.
In an extract from his book, he wrote: "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.
“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 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.”
Rob, who is a regular on comedy quiz shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats, has compared his plight to that of Irish fighter Tyson Fury.
He said that similar to the boxing champ he suffers from a “poverty mindset” where even after he smashes a career target, he always feels he has to reach another.
This relentless ambition led to burn out and coupled with the fact he was always comparing himself to more “middle class’ comedians on the close-knit circuit, it was a recipe for a mental health disaster. In a nutshell, “imposter syndrome”, Rob writes.
Rob added: “Who cares if you’ve sold out the Hammersmith Apollo and are flying first class if you’re crying in your bed?”
Rob’s career is going from strength to strength. He has just landed a “pinch yourself” part in Disney’s Cinderella, where he plays the film’s lecherous Thomas Cecil.
Before he addressed his problems Rob, who used to be a market trader, said the part would have been ruined by his self doubt but he is a better palace now and “loved it”.
He jokes: “It’s a great part, but the downside is that my children will see me with a ponytail and a beard perving on Cinderella.
“Not ideal, is it, as you drop your kids off at the school gates.
“Is your dad the sex pest from that Cinderella film? Yes, he is.”
In his book, A Class Act, Rob also jokes about his teeth – something he is regularly teased about, as well as his “abnormally large nipples”.
He writes: “When I was a teenager, they were massive. They were like a Tunnock’s Teacake.
“Yeah, for the good-looking athletic ones with normal nipples I’m sure it’s great. But for me, I found it an awful experience.
“I was fat, I had no confidence and the tits of Dolly Parton.”
For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website
A Class Act, by Rob Beckett, is published by HarperCollins on Thursday, priced £20.
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