Rob Brydon has come under criticism for a joke he made at the GQ Men of the Year awards about a suicide attempt by Stephen Fry earlier this year.

Back in June, actor and presenter Stephen Fry, who has bipolar disorder, told an audience in central London that he had never spoken about the latest suicide incident, which happened during filming of a BBC documentary. He has since tweeted fans to thank them for their concern, and to say “fine now”.

During the awards, of which he was host, Brydon described his fellow QI star Fry as “the nation’s favourite dinner guest with charm up to the gills, what a shame he can’t be left alone with vodka and some pills”. The joke was met with silence, rather than laughter, reports the Independent.

Fry laughed off the gag, however others took it more seriously. The Mirror journalist Natalie Edwards tweeted to say: “Something tells me Rob Brydon just crossed the line at GQ. Joked about Stephen Fry’s suicide attempt.”

Edwards went on to describe the reaction to Brydon’s joke as “tumbleweed”, commenting: “And rightly so.”

Others also tweeted their disapproval, one user saying it was “not OK”, and others slamming him for making the joke.

The awards were attended by Harry Potter star Emma Watson and actor and singer Justin Timberlake.

Since Fry revealed the attempted suicide, from which he was saved by chance as a producer he was working with came into the hotel room, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg praised him for speaking publicly about it.

Fry has since been active around the situation for LGBT people in Russia, and wrote to David Cameron asking him to intervene in the situation. Fry said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it.”