Lee Hurst suicide scare

'Cry for help' over dying father

Lee Hurst has been detained under the Mental Health act after threatening to kill himself.

The comic said his move was a ‘cry for help’ over the way his father was being treated in hospital.

Hurst locked himself in his car and told police he was going to swallow painkillers on Monday after accusing the NHS of failing to look after his 74-year-old dad Charles.

He then drove off, making an emotional call to the Daily Mirror threatening to swallow the anti-inflammatory capsules he takes to combathis rippling back disease ankylosing spondylitis.

Police later found him parked on a nearby beach. He was taken to hospital for psychiatric tests but soon released.

The star of They Think It's All Over later told the paper he had no intention of killing himself, saying: ‘I wasn't going mad.’

‘It's the ultimate in complaining. I asked myself what the hell can I do when backed into a corner. My dad needed help and this was the only way I could think of getting people to act.

‘They didn't think it was an emergency. Well it was to me. I thought, “Do something dramatic”. It was my cry for help. I don't regret it - I created an emergency.

‘When the police found me they tried to get my mouth open to stop me overdosing. They explained they had to take me for a psychiatric evaluation because I had threatened to kill myself. Once they realised I wasn't suicidal they were fine.’

Hurst became distressed on Monday because his father, who had cancer of the bowel, liver and lungs, was not given oxygen or a drip in Kent’s Sheppey Community Hospital. The hospital insists Charles Hurst was given the proper treatment.

Hurst, who own East London’s Backyard Comedy Club, added: ‘I know my dad probably only has a day or two left but it felt he had just been abandoned.’

Published: 1 Nov 2006

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