Hugh Laurie became so overwhelmed with the relentless shooting schedule on 'House' he fantasised about having an accident to avoid work.

The 53-year-old actor portrayed medic Dr. Gregory House in eight series of the US medical drama, and though the role brought him worldwide success and a string of awards, he found being a part of such a high-profile show a ''nightmare''.

He said: ''The repetition of any routine day after month after year, can turn into a bit of a nightmare.

''I had some pretty bleak times, dark days when it seemed like there was no escape.

''And I was determined never to be late, not to miss a single day's filming. You wouldn't catch me phoning in to say, 'I think I may be coming down with the flu.'

''But there were times when I'd think, 'If I were just to have an accident on the way to the studio and win a couple of days off to recover, how brilliant would that be?''

Hugh also revealed he constantly fears disaster could strike for him at any moment.

However, he insists his negative outlook ''frees'' him from having anxiety about death.

He added in an interview with Radio Times magazine: ''It's a bit of a constant, I'm afraid. Gut honestly, I don't spend my time looking nervously upwards. It will happen when it happens and if it's not a plane that gets me, then it could equally be a bus.

''When you assume that the worst is going to happen, you're freed up from any anxiety about the when and the where of it. Not that I'd ever be foolish enough to think I've got the hang of this life business. To think that would actively encourage the bus driver to take aim.''