Belfast Telegraph

Despair drove Geldof to the brink

Human rights activist and musician Bob Geldof has revealed the only thing that kept him from the brink of suicide was his children.

In an emotional interview, the Irish musician said he was "destroyed" when his wife and partner for 20 years, Paula Yates, left him and he was "beyond despair" when she died as a result of an overdose in 2000.

Speaking on the Radio 4 programme Meeting Myself Coming Back, which will be aired next Saturday, Geldof chokes up when talking about the relationship.

The musician, who is best known for Live Aid and his humanitarian work in Africa, tells presenter John Wilson he now finds it easier to talk about the loss of his wife, but he is no closer to understanding it.

Referring to her death he said: "I was beyond despair - I didn't understand a single thing. It was so mad and ultimately epic in its tragedy; Shakespearean, I know that sounds grandiose but I don't think you can describe it any other way."

Television presenter Yates left the former Boomtown Rats frontman for singer Michael Hutchence, the frontman of the Australian band INXS. The pair had three children together - Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches and Pixie.

"When she left me I was destroyed. I loved her very much," he said. "And I didn't understand why - never saw it coming. So I just floated. The pain was beyond immensity. The grief was universes of grief, my head was crowded with loss."

At one point in his life he admits that "the pain was so intense" that he considered suicide and wrote a list of reasons to "go on" and reasons not to.

He said: "There was only one item in the list for why I should continue: it just said, 'the children'."

The interview, which also sees the 59-year-old break down when recalling a trip to Lalibela in Ethiopia, is to be aired next Saturday at 8pm.

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