English tenor Alfie Boe has opened up about the depression he suffered when he separated from Sarah, mother of his children Grace and Alfred. He said he still had a hard time accepting what had happened
Image: Getty Images for Capital Concert)
Singer Alfie Boe has kept an emotional secret from his fans. The music star has revealed he overdosed after splitting from his wife two years ago.
Alfie makes the revelations next week on BBC reality show Freeze the Fear, which sees stars compete in endurance challenges with ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof.
The Dutch guru’s techniques include ice swimming and using breathwork to help people improve their health.
And after diving into the freezing water, Alfie opens up about the depression he suffered when he separated from Sarah, mother of his children Grace and Alfred.
Speaking on the show, Alfie said: ‘When my separation happened I went to a very dark place. It’s weird to talk about it, I haven’t talked about it in public, but I’m willing to, if it helps someone who needs it.
“I had fought, hated myself and had no love for myself and it culminated in a senseless act of throwing pills down my throat because I had lost my way.
“I ended up in a rehab center for about five weeks and it was a scary time.”
The 48-year-old tenor, who has sold a million albums and received an OBE, has rarely spoken about the August 2020 split.
But in moving scenes on the show – hosted by Holly Willoughby and Lee Mack – he admits he’s still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Holding back tears, he said, “I was separated from my wife after being married for 18 years. We have two beautiful children but unfortunately our journey did not last a lifetime.
“Even though we’re close and we’re friends, it’s not the same thing. It’s been almost two years now, but it still feels so raw. I miss her. I miss what we had.”
Alfie, who had three No. 1 albums with his friend Michael Ball as actor Boe and Ball, recounts how his marriage fell apart after a period of work-related stress.
“I don’t really know how it happened, it was just one thing after another,” he says. “I traveled a lot, on the road. Having to say goodbye for months at a time was difficult.
The couple, who met while Alfie was rehearsing for La Boheme in San Francisco married in 2004, spent quarantine at their home in the Cotswolds but split that summer.
Alfie was said at the time to have shared secret dates with a younger woman while still married – rumors which he strenuously denies.
He also denied reports that he joined the A-list dating app Raya and messaged other women.
BBC/Hungry Bear Media/Pete Dadds)
The revelation came at the home Alfie shared with his Freeze the Fear co-stars in the Italian mountains where the show was filmed.
The night before, ex-footballer Patrice Evra spoke of the disappearance of his children.
Alfie told Strictly Come Dancing star Diane Buswell, sportscaster Gabby Logan and The One Show reporter Owain Wyn Evans: ‘I got a little emotional because everyone was talking about their other half and that hit me harder than I thought. All in all, it was a beautiful marriage and when people say, “I’m sorry your marriage didn’t work out,” we still take it as, “It wasn’t a failure, it worked out.” .
“We have two beautiful children. I am where I am now and the people who have helped me come a long way are our children, our friends, our family.
And he credits the show – which also features rapper Professor Green and former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite – with helping him recover, adding he wants to be an inspiration to his children.
“Depression is a really debilitating thing to go through,” Lancashire-born Alfie later said.
“It’s not easy. You have to accept that you’re not perfect and you have to accept that you’re human and that you make mistakes. You have to find that inner strength and that inner love for yourself to be able to do it. to face.
“I am where I am now. The main reason I do [Freeze the Fear] and taking on these challenges is because I want to make my kids proud and I want to be a better person for everyone who comes into my life.
BBC/Hungry Bear Media/Pete Dadds)
Alfie has previously spoken of depression because he spent months away from his children while focusing on his career. He is best known for playing Jean Valjean in the musical Les Miserables in London’s West End.
He also starred in Finding Neverland on Broadway in New York and appeared on stage at events such as Last Night of the Proms and The Royal Variety Show.
He wrote in his 2014 autobiography about giving up drinking, adding that he could go months without alcohol before going on a binge that would end when he “destroyed rooms and threw things out windows”.
He added: “It’s become a crutch to deal with any stress – a difficult colleague, a bad rehearsal, a taxi not showing up.”
Several of the Freeze the Fear stars have opened up about their mental health issues.
And in the same episode where Alfie talks about his overdose, which airs Tuesday night, Buswell talks about his eating disorder.
Hof developed his technique after his wife Olaya tragically committed suicide in 1995. He found solace in the endorphin rush that came from being immersed in sub-zero water.
Her famous fans include Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber.
Recently Alfie appeared on his friend Michael’s Radio 2 show to talk about the freezing experience.
Alfie said: “There is something very unique and special about cold therapy treatment.
“It was euphoric. I just felt alive, like I had this rush of energy going through me like crazy, like electricity.
Freeze Fear with Wim Hof, BBC1, 9 p.m. Tuesday