Long Lost Family's Nicky Campbell couldn't get out of bed for two days after Charlie Brooker called him 'the Antichrist'

Long Lost Family's Nicky Campbell couldn't get out of bed for two days after Charlie Brooker called him 'the Antichrist'


LONG Lost Family host Nicky Campbell told how he was bedridden and at a "really low ebb" after Charlie Brooker branded him "the Antichrist."

The popular broadcaster, who has spoken openly about his battles with bipolar and depression, told how he was already "suffering badly" before the Black Mirror creator's bizarre comments proved the tipping point.

In his column for the Guardian, Screen Burn, Charlie published a post in November 2004 branding Nicky, 60, the "most evil man in the universe."

In the oddball first-person column, Charlie continued: "He's the Antichrist, that's why. Now this is just a theory, coupled to an opinion, trundled into battle on the back of a vague feeling… but I reckon Nicky Campbell might be the most evil man in the universe.

"There's no evidence to support this, but come on – there's just something about him, isn't there?"


Now, in The Time Capsule podcast, the former Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show presenter – who quit the early morning slot this year – has opened up on the impact of the brutal column.

He said: "I've suffered from terrible depression since I can remember – probably since I was a teenager, and I have bipolar disorder type two.

"I think that Charlie Brooker became slightly, I don't know… he gave me some terrible reviews and thought there was something unsettling about me and he sort of focused on it – something for him that didn't ring true.
'He just really took against me. He did these reviews, and then he made a video online and I think he did it on television, that I was The Devil.

"He's brilliant, Charlie is a brilliant writer – Black Mirror is phenomenal, he has done some incredible stuff. He's one of the greatest. [But when] I was at a really low ebb, and we had a text on the air, saying, 'Charlie Brooker really gave you the full treatment last night.'

"I thought, 'What's that?' I went home and watched it. It was a kind of comedy show, and he just laid into me. He had a string of insults and that really hit me.

"That kind of, 'He's right. I don't deserve to be here and he's rumbled me – he's got me. I don't really know who I am and he's sussed it out. He's pointing the finger and everyone's laughing."


"I think one of the words was 'w**kstain', and it sent me into… I was in bed for two days after it. It sent me into a really, really low ebb and I was suffering badly at the time, anyway.

"I can take it – of course I can take people having a go and having a bit of craic and insulting you – it goes with the game. But this was visceral. Really, really visceral and really vicious and really horrible.'

"The more disappointing because, he wasn't just some tw*t, he's this really highly regarded, brilliant writer. It might sound a bit pathetic, but it really hit me hard.

"I think we've got to be very careful about that sort of thing in the public space. Nobody knows what anybody's going through."

The column, which remains available on the Guardian website, refers to London-based Nicky's role on BBC consumer show, Watchdog.

It states of the presenter: "Stare into his eyes and you'll be chilled to the core by the cavernous hollow within.

"They say true evil is fundamentally banal: that the wickedest serial killers operate unnoticed thanks to their blank, unremarkable nature.

"Campbell's fronted everything from Wheel Of Fortune to Panorama, from Radio 1 to Radio 5, and yet you'd forgotten all about him, hadn't you? Doesn't that say something?"



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