Our favourite octogenarian Australian star Rolf Harris tells TV Times magazine about why he’ll never retire, and talking to Piers Morgan about the darkest periods of his life…

Rolf, in Piers Morgan’s Life Stories this Saturday (ITV1), you talk about a time in your life when you suffered from depression…
“He asked me about that and I spoke up quite sincerely and talked about it. It was very full on at the time, yeah. I hope people are interested and fascinated by it because I think depression can strike any one of us really and until you have it happen to you you’ve no idea what it means.”

Do you think people really understand depression?
“They think that you’re putting it on. They think it’s a made-up thing. And until you actually have it occur to yourself, you’re also of that opinion. You say, ‘Snap out of it!’ Until it happens to you and then you realise that you can’t bloody snap out of it!”

Had you met Piers before doing the interview?
“No. And I was all prepared to have trick questions thrown at me, but they didn’t actually happen. So I was quite relieved and I enjoyed it immensely.”

What was it like painting the Queen for her 80th birthday on your show Rolf on Art?
“I was nervous before I started the painting, but once you’re doing it you stop worrying and the Queen put me at ease. We were just chatting like dear friends, it was lovely.”

What else have you got coming up?
“I’ve got a couple of big one man shows at Christmas in Nottingham and London. I’m looking forward to them tremendously.”

And are you determined to keep on working?
“Yes. I mean I look back to stuff I was doing 20 years ago and think, ‘That’s not quite good enough really’. Life’s a bit pointless unless you’re learning all the time. To me retirement equates with lying down and dying. I can’t see any point in doing it. When you enjoy what you do, why would you stop?”