TV & Movies

Jason Manford reveals he’s been struggling with his mental health since worrying health scare earlier this year

JASON Manford revealed he's been struggling mentally after a health scare left him feeling like he'd "let his kids down" and couldn't continue as a comedian.

The funnyman, 37, encouraged men to speak out if they were suffering in a candid video uploaded to his Facebook page.

Brave Jason told his fans he finally felt the time was right to share his problems after receiving messages asking why he wasn't as active on social media anymore.

Speaking to camera, the emotional star said: "At the beginning of the year I had a bit of a health scare and, I wouldn't go as far to say I had a breakdown, but I had a struggle mentally and I found it very difficult to deal with.

"I had a few weeks off from my tour and then I cracked on and got through it.

"I just wanted to say it's taken me this long to be brave enough to say it really, because I've been struggling, finding things hard and I think social media can sometimes not help with that. I'm not just talking about trolls and people being nasty, I mean that's sort of just par for the course.

"Even just bad news nastiness and world events and people arguing about whatever the topic of the day is even down to comparing your life.

"When I was at my worst and lowest and I felt I let my kids down and couldn't do my job anymore.

"I suffer from anxiety and depression, and it's really hard sometimes, and then I think how dare you with your lovely life feel bad… Like I said your problems are relative."

Inspired by the likes of Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard and Peter Kay, Jason first started experimenting with stand-up when working as a glass collector in a pub aged 17.

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He got his big breakthrough in Johnny Vegas' psychedelic sitcom Ideal, in which he played Jack, and he also hosted a breakfast show on Xfm Manchester.

Then in 2007 he was made a team captain on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and got his own show in the form of Channel 4's Tonightly.

Jason has just finished his Muddle Class tour, which played to over 400,000 people, and will return to the stage in October in musical whodunnit Curtains.

He’s currently filming BBC One comedy Scarborough.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others.

You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

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