A Norfolk chef, who's a regular on the Channel 4 cookery show Sunday Brunch, has been talking frankly about his struggle with mental health.Last November Charlie Hodson was in a wood contemplating suicide. But thirteen months on he's organising pub social events so others don't suffer alone.

Natalie Gray has been to meet him.

Charlie Hodson is executive chef at the new Bourgee restaurant in Norwich.

But thirteen months ago he was ready to end it all.... for the fourth time.

He'd searched Google for the quietest place in Norfolk which turned out to be a wood in the middle of nowhere.

" I had a length of rope I knew that nobody would walk through until six o'clock in the morning til the estate was open . It was up a beaten track so you couldn't see the car off the road and it wasn't in a car park area."

Charlie Hodson, Chef
Chef Charlie Hodson who has battled with depression Credit: ITV Anglia

He realised something had to change - he was working 100 hours a week and was patron of various charities, as well as being a lifeboatman at Cromer. He literally didn't have time to think - so he quit his job and stepped down from a number of public roles.

"To the outside world you look like you have everything but I used to come off TV and other things and go to the green room and just sit there and cry my heart out because I thought I was a failure ."

Charlie Hodson, Chef

Tonight is his second monthly social event called Wellbeing, Nature and A Little Conversation at the Gin Temple in Pottergate in Norwich. Fifty people came to the first one.

"I think I'm extremely lucky because I'm surrounded by lots and lots of people who care about me but there are an awful lot of people with mental health issues who have nobody. We can't change the world but we can offer friendship and that's what it is all about for somewhere to people to come and know they are not alone."

Charlie Hodson, Chef

Upcoming events which are between 7 and 9 pm are

  • January 16 - Chief Inspector Lou Provart

  • February 13 - David Powles, Editor of the Eastern Daily Press