Actor George Wilson has appeared on This Morning open up about being hospitalised amid his secret battle with bipolar disorder.
The former child star, best known for playing Ziggy in Grange Hill in the 1980s, featured on the programme this week (21.01.20) and talked about his struggle with fame – and the abuse he received as the acting work dried up.
He told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “The first four years were great doing the show, there were no problems. It was only towards the end the pressure was getting to me a bit. Things built up and I’m not saying all of the time, but sometimes fame can be a bad thing.”
After leaving Grange Hill, George struggled to secure work in acting.
He explained: “When I came out of Grange Hill, I thought I was going to be Brad Pitt, I thought I was going to walk into Hollywood… because that’s what I just knew for the past four or five years.”
But he quickly realised it “wasn’t to be” and he found himself working “normal jobs”.
I was imagining so many frightening things and they’re all coming at you at once.
It took him some time to get used to doing non-acting work, he told Phil and Holly, because people would joke ‘What’s Ziggy doing here?’ and give him ‘abuse behind his back’.
He continued: “It eventually came to a climax, I was imagining so many things, frightening things and they’re all coming at you at once. I’m talking about a million miles an hour and I just lost it totally.”
George explained how, as he broke down, he “smashed” his loft up and threw many of his “beautiful” possessions out of the window as he was “out of control”.
The star was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011, but things are now looking up for him.
“Things are happening for me now. It’s been a long time since I was in hospital. Seven or eight years,” he said on the programme, adding: “The phones are going again now, I’m getting scripts, I’m getting auditions. I take life a lot easier than I used to.”
Reacting to George’s interview, one viewer wrote on Twitter: “Total respect for George opening up on live TV about his mental health battles! Much love to you Hun xx #ThisMorning #MentalHealthAwareness #Ziggy.”
Someone else tweeted: “George Wilson, Ziggy from Grange Hill, just had an interview on #ThisMorning and it was really touching. Came across as such a great guy, down to earth, honest and decent. Wish him all the best.”
A third said: “George Wilson is incredibly brave to talk like this on live TV, well done mate, you will always be part of my childhood as Ziggy #grangehill #ThisMorning.”
“It’s always good to see #ThisMorning talking about mental health with George Wilson telling us his story,” tweeted a fourth viewer, adding: “His words are so powerful, talking about mental health.”
— Lisa ☽✪☾ (@KopiteLisa96) January 21, 2020
George Wilson, Ziggy from Grange Hill, just had an interview on #ThisMorning and it was really touching. Came across as such a great guy, down to earth, honest and decent. Wish him all the best 💕
— SHINee'sWife 이태민 아내 Jonghyun, you did well 💎🌹 (@LeeTaeminsWife) January 21, 2020
— Lainey (@elainewalch111) January 21, 2020
It’s always good to see that #ThisMorning talking about mental health with George Wilson telling us his story, his words are so powerful about talking about mental health. It’s amazing to see people saying that same thing I think about it and my mental health
— Dan Goodwin🌾🚜🇬🇧 (@DanGoodwin97) January 21, 2020
Elsewhere on Wednesday’s This Morning, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage admitted he couldn’t rule out a stint on I’m A Celebrity, while Phil and Holly highlighted what they thought was an “obvious” flaw in in Coronation Street‘s Jade Rowan storyline.
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