Veteran comedian Richard Pryor is amazed he survived years of excessive drug abuse and an attempt to take his own life.

The 64-year-old funnyman is currently battling multiple sclerosis, which recently robbed him of the ability to speak.

But Pryor insists he should never have survived his wild partying lifestyle.

He says, "It's amazing I didn't OD on heroin, get stuffed with coke or die from AIDS. I think it's remarkable I'm still here."

But the star - who deliberately started a fire that almost killed him on a movie set in 1981 - was still disturbed when he saw false reports he had died on the news.

He says, "Rumours of my death spread as far as New York newspapers. It's a bitch to be watching the nightly news and see the motherf**kers talking 'bout you in the past tense."

27/04/2005 17:29