Ed Sheeran began having panic attacks after a ''horrendous'' flight alone with drunk people.

The 26-year-old singer had to cut short a holiday with friends to shoot a scene in historical drama 'The Bastard Executioner' and admitted the journey from Benidorm to London was the ''worst experience'' of his life.

He said: ''[I was] on my own, no friends, no security, at two in the morning, on easyJet, with all the p***ed Benidorm lot. Couldn't even wear a hat or a hood because it was so f***ing hot, so I was just out there in the open.

''[It was] horrendous. The worst experience of my life. Like so bad, that I started getting panic attacks.

'' I've never had anxiety in my life, it's been something I read about in interviews with other artists and thought, 'Thank f**k I don't have that.' It's just something that happened quite recently. I get really claustrophobic.''

And the experience has affected the 'Shape of You' singer - who is in a relationship with Cherry Seaborn - so much, he no longer feels comfortable in crowded places.

He added to The Guardian newspaper: ''I just don't like groups of people that I don't know any more, I can't do crowds any more.

''I can go to a pub, but only if it's a pub that no one would go to.

'' So me and Cherry go to a pub near where I live for Sunday lunch, we get a little corner table out of the way, and that's fine.

''I can do that, but standing in a pub, no, I couldn't do that. Couldn't do it.''

Ed went on hiatus and retreated from social media in 2016, and partly made the decision when he found himself crying while watching Ricky Gervais' spoof documentary film 'David Brent: Life on the Road'.

He recalled: ''When he was paying his band to hang out with them, it was like, 'S**t, I've definitely been in that situation.' ''