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Simon Webbe opens up about depression, suicide and Duncan James coming out

© Gay Times / Jon Enoch

It’s been 16 years since Simon Webbe first stormed the charts with Blue.

As he prepares to relaunch his solo career, the singer-actor talks to Gay Times about body image, regaining his confidence and why it’s important for men speak openly about their mental wellbeing.

In 2014, Simon Webbe revealed he was battling depression and suicidal thoughts, and says he went from turning around mirrors so he wouldn’t have to look at himself to regaining his confidence after taking part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Talking about his mental health helped him get through it.

“Guys are getting more respect for saying, ‘No, actually, underneath the exterior of what society has built me up to be, I’m maybe not feeling so great,” he said in our exclusive interview.

Related: Exclusive: Take That’s musical The Band will feature leading gay character

“Mental health issues are a big thing for a lot of guys because they try to hide it. But you’ve got to realise that it’s your life and until you take control, you’re stopping yourself moving forward.”

As the oldest member of Blue, he feels proud of his bandmates, whom he calls his “little brothers”, as they all shine in their solo careers. This fraternal pride extends particularly to Duncan James, who came out as gay in 2012.

“He was really worried that might not be accepted. But for us, it didn’t bother us one bit. I was like, ‘You’re my brother, mate, I don’t care who you sleep with.’”

You can read our full interview with Simon in the latest issue of Gay Times. Download here

Simon Webbe

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