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Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry has been speaking out once again about his struggle with bipolar disorder, and has issued his strongest statement yet on the subject, as a way of encouraging public sympathy and support for other people with the same condition.

Speaking to Professor Laurie Taylor for the Sky Arts TV show In Confidence, Stephen took great care to explain that even people who experience the milder forms of bipolar disorder have to battle against suicidal impulses.

He said: “It’s a morbid condition and any doctor will tell you it is one of the most serious morbid conditions that is present in Britain.”

“The fact that I am lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean that I won’t one day kill myself, I may well.”

And he took the time to call for an end to the scornful rolled-eyes of professional commentators — such as the UK’s toothy harridan Janet Street Porter — whenever people in the public eye talk about the condition.

He said: “One thing that fame gives you that’s good, is that you are essentially immune from stigma. Stupid people like Janet Street-Porter – who is a friend of mine, but she can be stupid about these things, or at least deliberately provocative – say, ‘Oh, why do celebrities bang on about it?’ Well, there’s a good reason. There are millions out there whose lives are utterly blighted.”

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By Fraser McAlpine