British comedian Julian Clary nearly fathered a child as a teenager and came close to ending his own life 20 years ago. In an interview to be aired on Piers Morgan's British TV show Life Stories on Friday (18Oct13), the openly gay funnyman reveals he had a relationship with a woman in his youth, during which she fell pregnant.
Clary, 54, did not learn about the pregnancy until the unnamed woman told him after they split up that she had lost his baby.
He tells Morgan, "I couldn't help imagining what the child would have been like. Now it would have been 35. It'd be marvellous, wouldn't it?"
Clary also recalls how he plunged into a pit of despair in the early 1990s and considered ending his own life, adding, "I was having day-long panic attacks. My judgement wasn't right at all. I did get all my pills out and I thought, 'I'll just lie down for 20 minutes before I take this major step'. Then I fell asleep or I thought better of it."
Sykes, who enjoyed a 60-year TV and radio career in his native U.K., passed away at the age of 89 after a short illness.
Following the announcement, stars spoke out to honour Sykes, with veteran TV entertainer Sir Bruce telling Sky News, "It's a very sad day for anyone who knew him, and it's also a very sad day for comedy because we have lost a comedy genius. (It's a) pity a lot of young people have never seen him in his prime... He was a very gentle person actually, Eric, but a very lovable person."
Writer/actor Fry took to Twitter.com to write, "Oh no! Eric Sykes gone? An adorable, brilliant, modest, hilarious, innovative and irreplaceable comic master. Farewell, dear, dear man", and comedian Julian Clary added, "RIP Eric Sykes."
Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp wrote on his page on the microblogging site, "RIP Eric Sykes thank you for making me laugh so much when I was a kid!", '90s singers Right Said Fred added, "R.I.P. Eric Sykes, a very genuine man", and funnyman David Baddiel tweeted, "RIP the great Eric Sykes".