Nicky Campbell: Comments from Charlie Brooker left me in bed with depression

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TV presenter Nicky Campbell said he spent two days in bed with depression following “really vicious” comments from satirist and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.

Campbell, known for his work on TV shows including Watchdog and Long Lost Family, said the remarks left him at a “low ebb”.

Brooker, 50, wrote in a 2004 newspaper column that Campbell, 60, is “the Antichrist”.

Charlie Brooker
Charlie Brooker, a satirist known for his dark wit, has been criticised for his past remarks on TV presenter Nicky Campbell (Isabel Infantes/PA)

An episode of Screenwipe, Brooker’s review show broadcast on BBC Four, featured a recap of Campbell’s career set to satanic music.

Campbell referenced other jibes which he said took a terrible toll on him.

Speaking on the My Time Capsule podcast, he said he has suffered from “terrible depression” since he was a teenager and has been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder type 2.

Scottish BBC radio presenter Campbell said Brooker, known for his acerbic wit, “really took against me”.

After praising Brooker’s writing skills, Campbell said: “But I came off the air one day, I was at a really low ebb, and we had a text on the air, saying, ‘Charlie Brooker really gave you the full treatment last night.’ I thought: ‘What’s that?’ I went home and watched it.

“It was a kind of comedy show, and he just laid into me. He had a string of insults and that really hit me. Kind of: He’s right, he’s right. I don’t deserve to be here and he’s rumbled me — he’s got me. And I don’t really know who I am and he’s sussed it out.

Nicky Campbell
Nicky Campbell said he was left devastated after being the butt of jokes from satirist Charlie Brooker (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“He’s like pointing the finger and everyone’s laughing.”

Campbell said he spent two days in bed after hearing the remarks.

“It sent me into a really, really low ebb and I was suffering at the time, badly, anyway,” he said.

“Of course, I can take people having a go and having a bit of craic and insulting you, it goes with the game. But this was visceral. Really, really visceral and really vicious and really horrible.”

Campbell said if Brooker, who is married to TV presenter Konnie Huq, made the comments on social media today, people would think he was “some weirdo in a flat somewhere, some keyboard warrior”.

He added: “We’ve got to be very, very careful about that sort of thing in the public space.”

Brooker has been contacted for comment.

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