EastEnders actor Danny Dyer has said he was "slowly committing suicide" and became a "parody" of himself during a dark time in his life.

The actor said his lifestyle reached a point where he thought he was going to die, and he hated himself for his habits.

Dyer told the i newspaper in Britain that he was smoking crack to properly perform on stage, incurring the wrath of his concerned friend, the late playwright Harold Pinter.

Dyer: "I had no hope, I hated myself."

The actor, now starring as Mick Carter in BBC soap EastEnders, admitted becoming a parody of his own persona.

He said: "I was in such a dark place, I was slowly committing suicide. I had no hope, I hated myself, couldn't look in the mirror for more than five seconds. It just repulsed me, what was looking back.

"It got to a point where I thought I was going to die - I don't think I'm going to wake up."

Speaking about his public image, Dyer added: "I think about 10 years ago, I was a bit of a laughing stock, and I created a lot of that myself. I became a parody of myself. Whatever that means."

The actor, who made nightclub appearances after acting roles dried up, said his current role on EastEnders saved his career.