Stephen Fry is often open about his bipolar condition; we know about his tumultuous upbringing and his troubled teenage years. As one of Britain’s most treasured broadcasters, his position as the President of Mind – a mental health charity – represents a dichotomy of sorts.

On the one hand, he must inform and entertain in his various roles for the BBC and beyond, but on the other, he must remain open and honest so that he may help others with afflictions akin to his. Thankfully, for those with mental health issues, he is a constant beacon of candidness, and his latest comments while chatting with fellow comedian Richard Herring are nothing less than brutally honest.

"I would go as far as to tell you that I attempted it last year, so I'm not always happy – this is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well,” he explained to a live audience at the Leicester Square Theatre. “I'm president of Mind, and the whole point in my role, as I see it, is not to be shy and to be forthcoming about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people with certain mood disorders."

Stephen FryStephen Fry at The Star Trek Into Darkness Premiere

Fry’s attempt to take his own life was thwarted, thankfully, by a colleague. "Fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after," Fry recalls. "There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life."

Fry opening up on his condition and recent suicide attempt

The well-documented nature of Fry’s condition can only serve to help those suffering a similar fate. Jovial and witty one minute, the 55-year-old can be equally depressed the next. "If unmedicated, there are times when I am so exuberant, so hyper, that I can go three or four nights without sleeping,” he explains, “and I'm writing and I'm doing stuff and I'm so grandiose and so full of self-belief that it's almost impossible to deal with me. I can't stop speaking, I'm incredible, I go on shopping sprees."

According to Mind, 1-2% of the population is affected by Bipolar. It can be medicated, as is the case with Stephen, with lithium and anticonvulsants.

Stephen FryFry chilling out at the Les Miserable premiere

Stephen FryFry is a nation's favourite