Stephen Merchant has admitted that he once nearly broke Bruce Springsteen's neck while watching the rock legend perform.

The British actor and comedian said he had been so eager to help The Boss crowd-surf at the gig that he had underestimated the musician’s weight, and his own height.

Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon he recounted the incident, joking that his obsession with Springsteen, 70, made him seem like a "stalker in a retirement village."

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"I love The Boss and I went down there and during the show… he falls out into the crowd, crowd-surfing," he said.

"I'm loving this, I was videoing it and I thought I’m going to go back on night two, I want a piece of that action. I want to be one of those people who gets to touch the great man.

"So (next time) I get into position, and he comes out and falls into the crowd…I’m bracing myself and I receive The Boss but I forget that I’m six-foot-seven."

Bruce Springsteen: "dense with talent"

He continued: "So he starts going upwards and the person behind me is like regular height and they can’t reach him.

"There’s a moment in time where I’m taking the full weight of Bruce Springsteen and you know what, he’s a small man but he’s a lot heavier than you think. He’s dense with talent.

"So I’m holding him like this and I have a vision of my grandmother saying 'you should never hold rock stars, you haven’t got the upper body strength’."

Merchant added that Springsteen had been "singing the whole time" and had not noticed the incident, with Fallon saying: "You saved his life."