The 55-year-old struggled to cope with the stress of a “massive mortgage” and took on more than he could handle. He said: “I had a stalker, two young children and I was in hunter gatherer mode after the 2008 crash happened. I was doing five jobs, not really in touch with my emotions and not in a good place. I had burnout, without a doubt, ten years ago. Workplace stress is a big thing.
“If you talk to psychologists they will tell you by far the majority of their patients have stress-related depressive illness. I remember speaking to a friend who was a psychologist who said, ‘If you had a nervous breakdown in the 1950s you would be sent to live with your aunt in the country… and in three or four months you would be better.’
“The problem now is no one has time to do that. [My friend] has patients who are seriously broken and they need to get better fast because they will get fired if they are not back at work in
Vine felt under such pressure that when a psychologist said he might need time off work, he recalled telling him: “No, your job is to keep me working.”
Speaking of his stalker, Vine said he knew he was in trouble right from the moment they met at an autograph signing at the BBC.
He explained: “She was absolutely remorseless. She was following me on the train, following me home, doing all kinds of stuff that created problems at home.
“A couple of things were very disturbing. The police did some intervention and in the end she packed up.”
He added that he was now being stalked by someone else on social media, although legal action is under way and limits what he can say.
But he believes it is a widespread issue for celebrities. He added: “I do not know any colleagues, particularly female colleagues, who have not had this kind of stalker.”
● Jeremy has drawn on his experiences of depression for his novel The Diver And The Lover, out next month.