Keith Chegwin spoke openly about his fight against alcoholism during an interview with daytime TV show This Morning in 1992.
The TV presenter has died aged 60 after a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition, his family said.
Chegwin, who was 34 at the time of the frank interview, said: “I am an alcoholic. It’s a disease.”
He said his hectic work schedule led him into a downward spiral where he needed a drink to relax and help him sleep.
Chegwin told show hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan: “I’m just frightened because, God, I could so easily pick up a drink.
“I was in the hotel last night. I would have loved to have sat in the bar and had a drink but I couldn’t.
“The moment I have a drink, then bang I am gone. It won’t be a couple of gin and tonics, it would be like two bottles.”
When Chegwin appeared on the show he had had two four-week spells in a drying out clinic.
He said he battled against the bottle by checking into a private clinic but started drinking as soon as he came out, adding: “I just said, ‘Oh sod it, I’ll see if this clinic has worked or not and I’ll just have one’.
“But the trouble is I can’t just have one.”
Earlier this year the Swap Shop presenter tweeted his best wishes to presenter Ant McPartlin, who received treatment for depression and alcohol and substance abuse.
Keith wrote: “My sincere best wishes to Ant @antanddec I know just how hard it can be. Be proud – you’re a very brave and honest man. Good luck x.”
Stars from the world of entertainment have paid tribute to the TV presenter.