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When Life Reflects Art: Is Fact Stranger Than Fiction?

Updated: Jan 1

On 14 January 2008, Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge contemplating suicide. Then a stranger stopped him, told him things would get better, and offered to take him for a coffee. That stranger saved his life.

A few years later, backed by mental health charity Rethink, Jonny launched a campaign to find his saviour. "Find Mike" went viral, and forward stepped Neil Laybourn, a personal trainer whose fiancée read about the campaign on Facebook.

Tonight that life-affirming incident is the subject of a Channel 4 documentary ("The Stranger on the Bridge," 9pm), and I'm happy for Jonny and Neil. Apparently there's Hollywood interest in a movie about that fateful moment on Waterloo Bridge and that's great too: out of utter desperation came hope. You couldn't make it up.

Except: I did...

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