Frank Skinner says it was unfair to blame Amy Winehouse’s friends for not stopping her descent into drugs.

The Back To Black singer, who fought a long battle with drink and drugs, was found dead at her flat in north London on July 23.

Comedian and reformed drinker Frank said: “I wasn’t one of the people saying, ‘Where were Amy Winehouse’s friends?’ because I know from my own drinking years that nobody can be told they need to quit.

“Unless she woke up and thought she’d had enough, it was never going to happen.”

Frank, who is publishing a book of his Times newspaper columns, Dispatches From The Sofa: The Collected Wisdom Of Frank Skinner, said he thought Amy might survive the hard-living lifestyle like some others in the music industry.

“I did think she might be one of those Shane MacGowan, Keith Richards-types, who keep going for ever, though. Some people have that iron constitution.

“Shane McGowan’s been drunk for 25 years. I’ve met him. He was drunk, but he was also articulate, interesting, funny and heart-warming,” he said.