Richard Blackwood
The actor will make his Eastenders debut on the 30th anniversary live show tonight. Getty

Richard Blackwood has revealed he was on the brink of suicide after sinking into a deep depression.

The 42-year-old former presenter, who is preparing to make his EastEnders debut as the BBC soap's new bad boy, has admitted that he almost threw himself over a window ledge in 2003 after blowing all his cash on lavish parties, women and fast cars.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Blackwood said he felt like a failure when his rollercoaster career reached an all time low.

"When I was made bankrupt, it was hard because I was one of the first young guys from the MTV era to be deemed to have it all and then to lose it all," he told the newspaper.

''I don't drink or smoke. I never have. I've never taken a drug in my life. But I was depressed, I was even suicidal.

''It was very real for me back then. Every time I walked out of the house, I was reminded by people that I had failed.'I actually tried to throw myself out of a window, and that's very true."

Blackwood says his girlfriend at the time, Samia Stokes, saved his life after talking him out of killing himself.

" An ex-girlfriend at the time stopped me from doing it. But it was a very dark time.''

"She hit me and told me 'don't let this situation beat you because there are too many people out there who genuinely care for you'."

Meanwhile, Blackwood has credited EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins for giving him a new lease on life after a difficult few years.

He explained: "Before Dominic came to me, I had resigned myself to the fact that maybe this country wasn't going to give me a role like this.

''When the audition came for EastEnders, I didn't think I would get it. I felt disheartened and was planning to go to America. After the audition Dom said, 'I want to offer you the role if you will take it.' And I said, 'If I will take it?'"

''When I got the role I went back to my car and I started to cry. I couldn't believe it. Dominic has changed my life.''

But the father-of-one, who catapulted to fame in the late 1990s as a stand-up comic, admits he is nervous about his new project.

''I am very nervous. It's not the live stuff that's making me nervous, it's joining the big machine. All eyes are on 'EastEnders' and I'm going to be in the midst of that as the new character.''

EastEnders' Live Week begins tonight (17 February) at 7.30pm on BBC One.