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Reading helped me beat depression, says broadcaster John Lloyd

BBC radio presenter John Lloyd said the way to beat depression is "digging yourself out of it".

The 64-year-old, who had a "crisis" in his early 40s, also likened the illness to "selfishness" in an interview.

"Depression is a form of selfishness," the presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Museum Of Curiosity told The Independent On Sunday's The New Review magazine.

"But saying it's a type of egotism is not meant to be cruel or heartless, it's meant to help.

"I had a crisis in my early 40s, which started as a search for the meaning of life. I'd been successful, had kids, a flat and a couple of cars, but I woke up one day and couldn't see the point of being alive.

"While you need medicine for physical illness, with depression it's about digging yourself out of it. And I believe that changing your attitude makes that possible.

"For me, it meant a lot of reading: interestingness is the cure for the mind. It took three years for the worst to go, but it worked for me."

Lloyd, whose TV production career includes Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI, also took credit for making former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's cabinet famous.

Spitting Image, a satirical show that launched in the 1980s, famously featured puppets of the Iron Lady and her political peers.

Lloyd said: "When we announced to Central TV that we were going to build the entirety of Thatcher's inner cabinet for Spitting Image, in 1984, someone said, "But no one knows who they are!" I said, 'they don't know now, but they will'."

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