Lil' Chris Killed Himself After Fame Struggle
A coroner has ruled that TV star and singer Lil’ Chris took his own life after struggling with to cope with fame and depression.
The 24-year-old pop star, whose real name is Chris Hardman, died on 23 March last year.
An inquest into his death heard Mr Hardman, who rose to fame at the age of 15 in the TV series Rock School, had been in contact with mental health services throughout his career.
He was later offered a solo deal and went on to have a top five hit with Checkin’ It Out in 2006.
He told friends that the pressures of fame had exacerbated feelings of paranoia and anxiety.
The inquest heard that Mr Hardman had spent the night before his death “chilling” with friends at his flat in Union Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
The following day he attempted to contact his GP and mental health workers about concerns with his medication but there was no indication he posed an immediate risk to himself.
At 11.48am his flatmate AJ Sutton returned to find him hanging. He raised the alarm and tried to resuscitate his friend but nothing could be done.
His sister Hannah Hardman, who attended the hearing with their parents Ian and Karen Hardman, said that he had been determined to overcome his difficulties and highlight prevalence of mental illness among young men.
She added: “He had an amazing experience as a singer and celebrity and it is difficult to regret a moment of that.
“Nobody who knew him would have a bad word to say – he was the funniest, most lovely practical joker you could ever meet.
“But at the same time it was very difficult for him and he spoke very openly about his depression.
“The one thing we would like to take away from this tragedy is to get people speaking more openly about mental illness.
“Unfortunately it is something that society cannot yet cure but by talking about it we can hopefully help people in a similar situation.
“I know that is what he wanted.”
Returning his conclusion, Suffolk coroner Peter Dean said: “Clearly he was a very talented young man who found fame at an early age.
“Sadly that fame also brought with it difficulties and problems but he had shown a desire to relaunch that career once more.”
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