Phil Collins became an alcoholic because he had too much spare time on his hands.

Phil Collins

Phil Collins

The 65-year-old singer-songwriter - who started drinking heavily following the collapse of his nine-year marriage to Orianne Cevey in the late 2000s - has confessed he "nearly died" after his drinking problem left him hospitalised with acute pancreatitis.

He said: "My organs were kind of f****d. It was spirits, corrosive stuff."

Phil explained that he was initially able to justify his excessive drinking to himself, before he realised it had become a serious problem.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper that he was saying to himself that he "deserved a break in my life where I could do anything, whatever I wanted".

However, in an extract from his autobiography 'Not Dead Yet', Phil said that alcoholism hit him at that stage in time because he had too much free time.

He writes: "It took me until the age of 55 to become an alcoholic. I got through the heady 1960s, the trippy 1970s, the imperial 1980s, the busy 1990s. I was retired, content, and then I fell. Because I suddenly had too much time on my hands."

Meanwhile, Phil also opened up about the controversial break-up from his second wife Jill Tavelman, in 1996, denying that he revealed his plan to divorce her via fax.

Phil said: "The implication was that I was saying 'Hello darling, I want a divorce'. That wasn't the case.

"We had discussed that on the phone and probably in person. I was [on tour] in Frankfurt, trying to get through [to his then home in Sussex]. The phone kept going down so I sent a fax from the dressing room. All I know is that I have never asked for a divorce by fax."

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