After Robin Williams' (probable yet unconfirmed at the time of writing) suicide at the age of just 63, the question is once more in the air - are comedians more prone to depression than, say, plumbers, gamekeepers or human resources managers? Does the iconic 'tears of a clown' cultural trope have any basis in fact? My instinct is to say no, it doesn't - but it is just that, instinct, for I have no data. It is a difficult case to prove, for the evidence to the contrary seems so overwhelming. When a comedian like Robin Williams or Tony Hancock takes their own life, with all the consequent publicity engendered by those tragedies, it is definitely tempting to conclude 'there goes another one.'
If he had had a heart attack, if had lost a long fight with cancer, if he had been knocked over by a car, would there be a need for a debate about 'what this says about the state of heart disease, or cancer care or road safety'? Possibly, but I doubt it. There still needs to be debate about depression as an illness, because there is still a lack of understanding that illness is exactly what it is.
The world is reeling in shock that has been likened to when Michael Jackson died: we simply can't believe it... in the wake of such a sudden departure, we should stop to consider that there are millions of people out there suffering with depression, and not all of them are getting the help that they need.
What is most heart-rending about this news is the contradiction- a man who exudes laughter, yet who is suffering from endless sadness. It just goes to show how one person's exterior doesn't always match the battles they are fighting within.
Self medicating with alcohol goes two ways. It's either for depression or for anxiety. I won't waste your time insulting you with my layman's terms understanding of neurology and serotonin levels in the brain. That's not my department. I can tell you how it starts though: One drink.
His machine-gun riffing, his ability to put on a thousand voices and tell circular jokes poking fun at the human condition were all proof of comedic genius, seemingly channelled from another source for which he was merely a willing conduit. No wonder performing greats like Bob Hope were reluctant to follow him on stage.
All these items are being auctioned off to raise funds for Anno's Africa, a UK based charity whose focus is on providing creative arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of the biggest city slums in Africa.
As a therapist that deals with celebrities I'm fully aware of the added pressure that they encounter as part of their fame, whether impromptu marriages to all night orgies; fame isn't a reason to act beyond the normalities of everyday life, but a fantastic opportunity to better it.
I specialise in nutrition, fitness and wellbeing and my no-nonsense approach to therapy means my concepts behind change can sometimes be controversial. I-practise-what-I-preach and I'm a strong advocate for those who follow their own advice, but I'm frustrated... especially when it comes to hypnotherapy and weight loss.
I've mentioned before that one of the joys of touring is getting to explore new places that you may ordinarily never visit otherwise. The flip-side is that you also get to return to the venues and cities that you know and love well. You look forward to the familiar territory, however briefly you are able to tread it as it makes life on the road seem, well, less on-the-road!
A Streetcar Named Desire is Tennessee Williams' finest play and in this deeply affecting production at the Young Vic, Gillian Anderson gives quite probably her finest performance as Blanche DuBois...
When former supermodel Jodie Kidd got to the final of Celebrity Masterchef last month, a lot of viewers were shocked. Models have to stay slim, so they aren't exactly known for their culinary skills (unless it involves whipping up a green salad with no dressing).
I'm placed next to Brain Cox and something inside me wilts because I know I am sitting next to a superior being and he will soon find out I'm a two-celled worm... This is my trigger, if I'm near someone that smart, I tailspin into the interior pre-recorded CD made in childhood that goes something like this, "You're a total idiot and people will find out that you're an idiot."
Today, we're looking at a society of females prepared to go to extreme lengths to comply with the so-called ideal - an ideal which is realistically unobtainable for most. Alba's tight-lacing routine was a response not-only to the pressure desire to achieve an hourglass figure, but also to trim down to her pre-baby weight in record speed.
It's been a week of ups and downs. Literally. This week the Annie Get Your Gun team have been in the beautiful, and somewhat hilly, town of Great Malvern at the Festival Theatre. It's one of the smallest venues we play on the tour...
Today I joined Grimmy, Annie Mac, Pete Tong and MistaJam on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show to kick off the weekend... Ibiza is the world's most iconic dance music location and to be a part of Radio 1's infamous dance line-up on one of the biggest weekends on the island is crazy.