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Sunday 20 October 2019

'I don't want you to die tonight' - Radio host saves life of suicidal man who called his show after taking overdose

Iain Lee kept the man talking on the line until he was located by paramedics

Iain Lee (PA)
Iain Lee (PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

TalkRadio host Iain Lee has been hailed a hero after he saved the life of a suicidal man who phoned his show after taking an overdose.

Lee, a former I'm a Celebrity contestant, presents the Late Night Alternative show on the UK station, and has spoken openly about his own mental health issues, revealing that he felt suicidal after coming off anti-depressants.

He kept the man, who went completely silent for periods of time, on the line for half an hour as his producer fed information about his possible whereabouts to the ambulance service.

The man said he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and depression and told Lee that he wanted to die. 

“Shut up, man, I know you want to die, brother, but I love you. I love you. You may want to die, but we can talk about that tomorrow," replied Lee.

The man revealed that he was near a nightclub in Plymouth and he was eventually located after 27 very tense and distressing minutes.

Devon and Cornwall police inspector Kevin Morley thanked Lee in a tweet, “My officers that attended and are now dealing with the caller. This is a very typical call for us sadly and December is a hard month for many. We will do our best to direct him to long-term support.”

Lee took to Twitter to explain the situation and said he "really hopes he makes it".

"Tonight we took a call from a man who had taken an overdose. He was lying in a street in Plymouth, dying. We managed to keep him online, get a description of what he looked like and was wearing, work out where he was and send an ambulance and police to him," he wrote.

"Kept him on the phone for 30 minutes while he got harder to understand. Long periods of silence where I thought he'd died. fuck, that was intense and upsetting. Thanks for your kind words. I really hope he makes it."

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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