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'I’d been losing too many nutrients from my body, and the water I’d been swigging wasn’t enough to replace them.
With no nutrients to sustain me, I had become vulnerable to a virus.'My immune system had broken down and this led to ME.
I just seemed to get better when I’d taken my mind off things.’ His association with Lloyd Webber had begun when he took on the title role in The Phantom Of The Opera in 1986.
It had made me sweat so much that I had become dangerously dehydrated.
Then I changed my entire regime, putting myself on a diet of healthy food and taking each day at a time, rather than worrying about the future.
I went sailing and fishing every day and discovered the joys of gardening.’ After four years of ill health, Crawford was fit to work again.
‘What I thought had been flu turned into a physical meltdown.
I went for all sorts of brain and body scans until ME was finally diagnosed.‘I thought my career had come to an end because I no longer had the energy, or even the inclination, to work again.‘I’d be totally exhausted by mid-afternoon, and I could barely climb the stairs at home.It was particularly alarming because all my life I’d enjoyed doing all my own stunts in shows, taking on every physical challenge. I knew something was wrong, but I had no idea what.’Eventually he was diagnosed with ME, the rare chronic fatigue syndrome that can be triggered by a viral infection.Brought up in Sheerness, Kent, he began at 12 as a boy soprano, left school three years later and embarked on a career in film, stage and TV alongside such stars as Gene Kelly, Barbra Streisand, Buster Keaton, John Lennon and Steve Mc Queen.