Former Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain revealed he could not find work for three years after the rapping scandal that ended his soap career.
He was sacked as Tommy Duckworth in 2013 when he was exposed as a masked YouTube rapper called The Phantom whose lyrics glorified violence and included the line "rape a bitch on her birthday".
Speaking on This Morning, the 28-year-old apologised and said: "It kills me really because the stuff that went online in no way reflects how I feel about women.
"I just wanted to impress these people and it was what everyone was doing... and I've not worked for three years."
Discussing the aftermath of being sacked, he said: "It put my family through absolute hell, my mum and my grandad and my girlfriend and my friends. I let a lot of people down, including myself.
"I didn't leave the house for a long time, I was really depressed, really ashamed and rightly so."
Asked by host Eamonn Holmes if he thought the acting side to his career was over, he replied: "Yes."
Fountain, who first found fame as Justin Burton in Hollyoaks, was persuaded to reignite his career in the touring production of The Full Monty by co-star Gary Lucy but admitted that he had questioned if he deserved a second chance.
He said: "I got asked about The Full Monty and my head was in a bit of a weird place and I didn't know whether it would go down for me to do it.
"I wasn't going to go to the meeting and then I got a really long voicemail from Gary."
Lucy explained: "He's a lovely guy, not a bad bone in his body. Big mistake, and he's had a hard lesson learnt from it.
"But when I heard he wasn't getting in contact about this show... I got on the phone, gave him a few choice words and said you need to get yourself in here and back to work."
Fountain said the call meant "a hell of a lot".
"My past few years, my head hasn't been in the right kind of place and I felt a little bit like, 'Do I deserve to be doing this again?' It's a massive fresh start and it's such a gift to be doing what I love."
Fans offered their support to the actor to Twitter.
Tracey McCrossan posted: "Well done for coming on TV and acknowledging your mistake. I hope you can now move on and get back to doing what you love."
Kelly Cini wrote: "You did yourself proud today, very humble and dignified."
Another wrote: "Loved seeing Chris on @itvthismorning Everyone deserves a 2nd chance. Good luck with The Full Monty."