Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston reveals anorexia battle during filming almost drove him to suicide

Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston reveals anorexia battle during filming almost drove him to suicide

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DOCTOR Who star Christopher Eccleston has opened up about his battle with anorexia while filming the BBC show.

Eccleston was the ninth person to take the role and headed its mega-successful revival in 2005 alongside Billie Piper.

Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor alongside Billie Piper as Rose
BBC

While fans loved his rugged take on the classic character, he only lasted for one season.

However, it turns out the Time Lord was struggling with life-threatening problems behind the scenes.

In his new autobiography, I Love The Bones Of You, the actor revealed his was struggling with anorexia and health issues while on set.

“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic. I never have,” Eccleston wrote in the book in an extract in The Mail On Sunday.

Christopher Eccleston has opened up about his battle with anorexia
Ian West/PA Wire

“I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m Northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.

“The illness is still there raging within me as the Doctor. People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill. The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.”

Ten years later, when he was filming The A Word, he was diagnosed with clinical depression and admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital.

He continued: “I was in a state of extreme anxiety, convinced I was either going to die or I was going to kill myself.

The revival of Doctor Who was a smash hit for the BBC

“In my despair I reached for my phone and looked up a psychiatric hospital, I rang ahead, grabbed my bag and ran.

“I was 100 percent sure I was in the last few weeks of my life.”

After his stint in hospital, he was prescribed anti-depressants – and he’s still on them “to this day”.

He adds: “I could be on them for the rest of my days. I do have an issue with that. I would like to attempt slowly to reduce the dose, to experience reality again, to see how I do.

Christopher Eccleston has also raised awareness of the difficulties of working class actors trying to break into the industry
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire


“And yet, interestingly, I have received some of the best reviews of my life since taking them.”

After his stint on the BBC show, Eccleston moved over to the United States to continue his acting career, staring in TV shows Heroes, Safe House and The A Word.

He also appeared in Box Office hit Thor: The Dark World.

However, last year he revealed his time over the Atlantic was not his idea – claiming the BBC blacklisted him after leaving Doctor Who and almost ruining his career.

The book also opens up about how he was affected by his dad’s dementia
Ian West/PA Wire

In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “What happened around Doctor Who almost destroyed my career.

“I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist.

“I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted.”

He adds: “I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change.’”

Christopher Eccleston says he was blacklisted by the BBC
BBC

The actor’s memoir will be released on September 19 and will focus on his life, career, upbringing in 1970s Salford and his father’s dementia.


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