Rick Stein: BBC chef admits it was ‘very hard’ to forgive his dad after his tragic suicide

Rick Stein teams up with director Dave Pritchard in seafood cook

Chef Rick Stein, 73, said it was “very hard” to forgive his dad Eric, after he committed suicide when the cook was younger. In a recent interview, he recalled his teenage years in the French region of Brittany and reflected on his dad’s death, and the “demons” he battled.

I think I have probably forgiven him

Rick Stein

Rick’s dad took his own life aged 58 after battling bipolar disorder.

He said: “It’s very hard to forgive people that kill themselves.

“I still respond to his style, his sense of humour, his sort of pleasure in things.

“But you realise you’ve been damaged by the same person as well. He didn’t really take it out on his children, he was never cruel to us.

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“It was just that he had his own demons,” he added to Radio Times.

Eric tragically jumped to his death from a nearby cliff after they made the permeant move from Oxfordshire to Cornwall.

But despite finding it tough to move on from the grief that never truly disappears, the BBC cook admitted he has “probably” forgiven him.

“The suicide of a parent is a kick in the teeth,” he said.

“But I have to say that latterly – and I never would have believed this – I’m much more aware of my father’s positive side.

“The older I get, the more I want to be like him.”

He paused as he realised how much older he is than his father was when he passed away.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so much older than he was when he died,” he said in disbelief.

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“I think I have probably forgiven him.”

Despite his father’s death in his beloved Cornwall, Rick admitted he doesn’t associate the coastal town with death and misery.

“My father died towards the end of November, but I didn’t associate Cornwall with gloom and death,” he said.

“It was a place for holidays.”

Read Rick’s full interview in Radio Times out now [RADIO TIMES]

Shortly after the tragic event, Rick escaped the UK and moved to Australia, a place he describes as full of optimism.

“Australia was a place of such optimism that it seemed like a place where nobody dies,” he smiled.

“Cornwall is a bit like that, too.”

Read Rick’s full interview in Radio Times out now.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, you can find more information on the Samaritans website or call them on 116 123.

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