Noel Edmonds has admitted that he tried to kill himself after a business scam nearly ruined his life.
The Deal or No Deal host seeks £50million compensation from Lloyds Banking Group after falling victim to financial fraud, and says he was driven to the brink of suicide when now-jailed HBOS financiers helped to destroy his former company, Unique Group, as well as several other businesses.
“Until these criminals took me to the brink of emotional annihilation, I had always felt those who opt out by taking their own lives were selfish and cowardly.
“But having been cast into that bottomless dark space devoid of logic and reason, I have a much deeper understanding of life without hope.
“I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of January 18th 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being,” he told the Press Association.
He added: “The fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol.”
HBOS financiers carried out a £245 million loans scam, before they splashed the profits on high-end prostitutes and luxury holidays.
Lloyds rescued HBOS during the financial crisis, and insisted that a £100 million compensation pot would begin to be distributed to fraud victims in May but Edmonds has repeatedly urged them to speed up the process.
Edmonds has set up a website called banklloyds.claims and has included an ‘honesty countdown’ timer, noting the days, hours and minutes they have left to pay the compensation on time.
A statement from Lloyds says: “We remain on track to begin making the first compensation offers before the end of May and anticipate making all compensation offers by the end of June”.