Craig Charles: I handled fame badly at a young age

Craig Charles says he handled the limelight “badly” when he shot to fame.

The DJ and actor, 55, who first found fame on the BBC sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, told The Big Issue magazine that he was not prepared for his success.

“I was famous when I was quite young. There was no preparation, no fame school where I came from,” he said.

“You’re not taught how to handle it, this sudden influx of wealth and fame. And I handled it all very badly.

“I was unreliable. I was cocky. I was always late. I didn’t prepare things. I used to wing it a lot. I mean, friends can come and go, but enemies, they last a lifetime.”

While he was on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2014, Charles discovered that his older brother, Dean, had died.

He flew home immediately, and the ex-Coronation Street star has previously told how his brother had tried to contact him before he joined the ITV show.

“If I could have one last conversation with anyone it would be my brother Dean,” Charles told The Big Issue.

Red Dwarf stars
Craig Charles with two of his Red Dwarf co-stars Robert Llewellyn and Chris Barrie (Ian West/PA)

“He tried to get hold of me just before I went into the jungle.

“We’d not spoken for a few years, there was a family falling out. And I just thought, ‘You know what, I’ll leave it, go and do the jungle thing and I’ll come out and we’ll all be together for Christmas.’

“And he died while I was over there… The doctor said: ‘I’ve got some terrible news to tell you, Craig. Your brother Dean has passed away.’

“So I had to get on a plane straight away. He was so far away. And it took so long to get back. I’d have loved to have had a conversation with him. I’d have loved to have made up.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is on sale now.