Julian Clary has revealed how he suffered “day-long” panic attacks and was prepared to take his own life in 1993.

It was the same year the gay comedian made a rude joke about the then Chancellor Norman Lamont at the British Comedy Awards.

At the event Clary compared the set to Hampstead Heath, a popular gay cruising site, and joked that he had just been fisting the senior Tory.

Although the joke was met with uproarious laughter from the audience, Clary was criticised in some newspapers, including the Daily Mail and The Sun, who launched an unsuccessful campaign to have him banned from television.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, which airs tomorrow on ITV, Clary said: “It was nothing to do with being infamous for that, but I was having anxiety problems.

“I had day-long panic attacks. I was on pills, so my judgement wasn’t right.

“I remember checking into the hotel.

“I got all my pills out and thought, ‘I’ll lie down for 20 minutes before I take this major step’.

“Then I fell asleep or thought better of it.”

The 54-year-old also revealed he almost became a father at 19 – but the mother miscarried. “She is unique. The one woman I had that sort of relationship with,” he said.