Noel Edmonds has described how paramedics saved his life after he attempted suicide when his business fell victim to financial fraudsters.
The former Deal or No Deal and Noel’s House Party host revealed in an interview that he tried to kill himself in 2005 as Unique Group collapsed.
He claims the company was among firms affected by a historic £245m loans scam by HBOS employees in Reading, who were jailed earlier this year.
It emerged last month the TV star was seeking £50m compensation from Lloyds Banking Group, which rescued HBOS at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
The entertainer said: “Until these criminals took me to the brink of emotional annihilation, I had always felt those who opt out by taking their own lives were selfish and cowardly.
“But having been cast into that bottomless dark space devoid of logic and reason, I have a much deeper understanding of life without hope.
“I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of 18 January 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being.
“The fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol.”
Lloyds said in April it would begin making compensation offers to fraud victims in May from a £100m pot, with payments expected to begin in June.
However, Mr Edmonds has repeatedly urged Lloyds to speed up the process and says his demands for a meeting with the bank’s chief executive and chairman have gone unanswered.
A spokesman for the bank said : “Our customers’ safety is of paramount importance to us.
“We have a clear policy that if a customer says that they are considering taking their own life that we must take the statement seriously and take action to protect them.
“In such instances, police are notified and, where possible, provided with the customer’s location in order that they can go to the customer and ensure their safety.”
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can also call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK.