Suffolk

Lil' Chris: Singer took his life after struggling with fame

Lil' Chris (Chris Hardman) Image copyright Hardman family
Image caption Chris Hardman's family said he suffered with depression and "ultimately didn't win his battle"

Singer Lil' Chris took his own life after struggling with the "difficulties and problems" caused by fame, an inquest has heard.

The 24-year-old, whose real name was Chris Hardman, starred in Channel 4's Rock School when he was aged 15.

He was found hanging at a house he shared with a friend in Lowestoft in Suffolk last March.

His family said he suffered with depression and "ultimately didn't win his battle".

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Media captionLil' Chris's sister on his mental health 'battle'

Live updates: Lil' Chris' family call for open debate about mental health

The pop star had a top-five single - Checkin' It Out - and hosted his own TV show after appearing in the series with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons in 2006.

But he missed the limelight when his career stalled, the hearing in Bury St Edmunds was told.

Mr Hardman told friends and his mental health worker that the pressures of fame had exacerbated his feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

Lil' Chris's career

Age 15

found fame in 2006 on Channel 4's Rock School

  • 3 chart position for debut single Checkin' It Out

  • 2008 hosted Everybody Loves Lil' Chris on Channel 4

  • 2012 starred in Loserville: The Musical in the role of Francis Weir

BBC

The emergency services were called to Mr Hardman's house in Union Road on 23 March last year, when his housemate found him and tried to resuscitate him. An hour later a paramedic confirmed he was dead.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said it was clear Mr Hardman's death was "an intentional act".

"Clearly he was a very talented young man who found fame at an early age," he said.

"Sadly that fame also brought with it difficulties and problems but he had shown a desire to relaunch that career once more."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The musician's family described him as "the funniest, most lovely practical joker you could ever meet"

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Hardman's sister Hannah said the family wanted a "full and open debate about mental health".

She said: "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. I know that is what he wanted."

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