Jeremy Clarkson was told he must follow doctor’s orders to stay in hospital or die, he has claimed.
The broadcaster, who is recovering from pneumonia, fell in while on holiday in Mallorca, disclosing he sought medical help after “three nights spent spasming in my bed”.
After being referred to hospital, tests showed he was seriously ill and he was told he must be admitted for at least a week.
Reluctantly complying, Clarkson wrote in his Sunday Times column that his subsequent boredom was so acute he “thought often about killing myself”.
In his first in-depth account of his illness, he told the newspaper he had informed doctors it was “impossible” for him to stay in a hospital bed, insisting he had to continue working and go to New York that week.
He claimed a doctor told him: “If you don’t do as I say, you will die.”
"I did understand that,” Clarkson added. “I'm sure many of you will have found yourself in hospital, not having planned to be there.
“But for me it was a new experience. And a weird one.
“Because I was in a room with nothing on the walls except wallpaper, and most of that was coming off.
“And I was in there for an hour, on my own, with absolutely nothing to do. The boredom was so bad I thought often about killing myself.”
Explaining he had never been seriously ill before, or taken a sick day, he admitted he had been disappointed by his diagnosis of pneumonia and its unglamorous connotations of being “ what my mum said I'd catch if I went outside without a vest. It's pathetic.”
He now faces two months of recuperating.
“This is the problem with hospitals,” Clarkson writes. “People who stay in them become institutionalised and incapable of speaking about anything other than what nurse brought what drug at what time.
“Boredom turns them into bores.
“And when they get out, as I have, and there is nothing to do for two whole months apart from get better, things are even worse, because all I can talk about is my illness.
“And, as my dad used to say: ‘A bore is a person who, when asked how they are, tells you.'”
The full article is published in the Sunday Times today.