Kelsey Grammer has poured out his heart on national TV in America in a bid to explain his past misdemeanours, which include an addiction to cocaine and a drink driving conviction.

In signing off from his hit sitcom Frasier, the actor and his castmates sat down with TV presenter Katie Couric on Tuesday night (11MAY04) and agreed to discuss the funnyman's past demons, which led to them begging him to seek counselling.

Grammer spiraled into a self-destructive hell after trying to cope with the murders of his sister KAREN and his father ALLEN.

It took 20 years after the rape and murder of his sister in 1975 for Grammer's cocaine and booze addictions to come to the fore, and when he flipped his sports car over while driving drunk in 1996, friends began to realise he had a problem.

His castmates visited Grammer at his home in an effort to persuade him to seek help.

John Mahoney, who plays Frasier's father MARTY on the show, said, "It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole life because, basically, it's like kicking a dead horse.

"It's going to somebody's house, who you love, whose down and just beating him down even further - for his own good."

Grammer, who tearfully thanked his castmates in his 1998 EMMY acceptance speech, said, "At that time I was ready to go and their being here was simply that I knew I had support to do it."

The actor checked into the BETTY FORD CENTER in California and, there, realised his problems stemmed from the death of his sister and his subsequent self-loathing.

He added, "My biggest disappointment was me but it was mostly because I couldn't save my sister, and, as it turned out, I couldn't save anybody else. It became a mounting frustration."

13/05/2004 09:13