The Blackpool-born tenor has revealed he overdosed after splitting from his wife two years ago.
Emotional Alfie makes some startling revelations next week on BBC reality show Freeze The Fear, in which celebrities take part in a series of endurance challenges with ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof.
The Dutch guru’s techniques include ice swimming and using breathwork to help people improve their physical and mental health.
And after plunging into a hole full of freezing water, Boe opens up about the depression he suffered when he separated from Sarah, the mother of his children Grace and Alfred.
Speaking on the show, the Les Miserables star said: “When my separation happened I went to a really dark place. It’s weird to talk about it, I didn’t talk about it. in public, but I’m willing to do so if it can help anyone in need.
“I had fought, hated myself and had no love for myself and it culminated in a senseless act of throwing pills down my throat because I had lost my way. I found myself in a rehab center for about five weeks. It was a scary time.
The 48-year-old OBE recipient, who has sold a million albums and performed for royalty, has rarely spoken about the split that happened in August 2020.
But in moving scenes on the show, hosted by Holly Willoughby and Lee Mack, he admits he’s still struggling.
Holding back tears, he said, “I was separated from my wife after being married for 18 years. We have two beautiful children but unfortunately our journey did not last a lifetime.
Even though we’re close and we’re friends, it’s not the same thing. It’s been almost two years now, but it still feels so raw. I miss her. I miss what we had.”
Alfie, who had three number one albums with his friend Michael Ball, recounts how his marriage fell apart after the stresses of his job, including traveling on tour.
“I don’t know how it happened, really, it was just one thing after another,” he says. “I traveled a lot on the road. Having to say goodbye for months at a time was difficult.
The couple, who married in 2004, spent quarantine at their home in the Cotswolds, but separated that summer.
Sarah has stayed out of the spotlight since they met while Boe was rehearsing for La Boheme in San Francisco.
Alfie was said at the time to have shared secret dates with another woman while still married – rumors which he strenuously denies. He also denied reports that he joined the A-list dating app Raya and messaged other women.
His touching TV moment happened at the house Alfie shared with his Freeze The Fear co-stars in the Italian mountains where the show was filmed earlier this year.
Alfie told Strictly Come Dancing star Dianne Buswell, sportscaster Gabby Logan and The One Show reporter Owain Wyn Evans: “Overall it was a beautiful wedding and when people say: ‘ I’m sorry your marriage didn’t always look at it like, ‘It wasn’t a failure, it worked.’
“We have two beautiful children. I am where I am now and the people who have helped me come a long way are our children, our friends, our family.”
He says the show has helped him recover, adding that he wants to be an inspiration to his children.
“Depression is a really debilitating thing to go through,” he later says on camera. “It’s not easy. You have to accept that you’re not perfect and you have to accept that you’re human and that you make mistakes. You have to find that inner strength and that inner love for yourself to be able to do it. to face.
“The main reason why I do [Freeze The Fear] and taking on these challenges is because I want to make my kids proud and be a better person to everyone who comes into my life.
Boe has previously opened up about depression due to months away from home and family while focusing on his career.
Best known for his role as Jean Valjean in London’s West End in Les Miserables, he also played the lead in Finding Neverland on Broadway in New York and appeared on stage at the Last Night Of The Proms and the Royal Variety Show.
He wrote in his autobiography that he quit drinking in 2014 after a battle with alcohol, adding that he could go months without drinking before going on a binge that would end when he “smashed coins and threw things through the windows”.
He added: “It became a crutch with which to deal with any stress.”
Recently, Boe appeared on Michael Ball’s Radio 2 show to talk about how all the celebrities found the therapeutic experience on Freeze The Fear, starring Hof.
He said: “It’s amazing, there’s no word big enough for it. There is something very unique and special about cold therapy.
“You can see on the program that everyone is emotionally affected by it.
“It seems to trigger things that you want to bring out, you want to perfect or improve. It’s a powerful thing, this breathing technique that Wim Hof created.
“You go through so many temperatures. It’s amazing the feeling you get when we breathe. It was euphoric. I just felt alive, like I had this rush of energy going through me like crazy, like electricity.
- Freeze Fear with Wim Hof, BBC One, 9 p.m. Tuesday