Steve Coogan thought he was going to die after taking cocaine.

The 'Alan Partridge' actor has opened up about his past dalliances with the illegal substance and admits to having such an extreme panic attack he thought death was imminent.

In an extract from his new autobiography 'Easily Distracted' - which is being serialised in The Guardian newspaper - he wrote: ''I could feel pins and needles in my left arm, and my heart was thundering. I thought I was having a heart attack.

''Patrick put me in a car and drove through red lights to get me to hospital. I cried all the way. I couldn't stop thinking, 'I'm going to die. This is it. My headstone will say: Stephen Coogan, born in Middleton in 1965, died in Edinburgh in 1992, aged 26 years.' What a waste!''

Steve, 49, says the drug helped him feel more confident and he didn't even need to buy it initially because it was constantly being passed around in his social circles.

He explained: ''It was always around, always on offer. I didn't start to buy it until years later.

''In those early days it was all recreational and relatively controlled. I'd have a line or two and stop. I liked it because it gave me confidence. I always thought, 'I'm not really one of those people who does cocaine, so I'll be OK.' ''

Despite overcoming his addiction, the comedian adds: ''I don't take drugs or drink any more, but I am in no denial about my past: I will always be a recovering addict.''