Stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan has opened up about losing his close friend to suicide.

The 41-year-old appeared on Comic Relief tonight to help raise money for charity.

Appearing on the show today, he was joined by Alesha Dixon to present part of the show this evening.

But earlier, following a segment on mental health, Romesh spoke about his own experience with suicide.

He said: "Last year, I lost a friend to suicide and we, his friends, would have given anything to change that. Tonight, you can change things for so many people."

Romesh became an ambassador for the mental health charity, Calm, after his friend’s death last year.

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Talking to the Independent in December, he spoke about his own mental health.

"I worried about talking about it," he said. "I’m a cynical comic. And in Sri Lankan culture, mental illness isn’t well dealt with.

"I was cagey when I first did it – I kept it a secret. I don’t want to be this vegan guy who’s suddenly talking openly about mental health.

"I don’t want to be that box-ticker. But I might as well be honest about it. "

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