Jimmy Carr has shared that he came “close to death” when battling meningitis as a young child.

The comedian was speaking on the podcast Where There’s A Will, There’s A Wake with Kathy Burke, revealing that he “nearly didn’t make it.”

He explained: "I had meningitis when I was a child. So my first memory is a lumbar puncture in Limerick in the General (hospital).

“I was three, I think, and … I was always told it was very close to death.

“The doctor sort of went, ‘it’s going to be very painful’. And somehow I’d heard the phrase, and I went, ‘you’ve got to be cruel to be kind’, in a little child’s voice.”

He added: “And I kind of appreciated that thing of life, because I was always told, ‘oh, you nearly didn’t make it’.”

When he was asked about how he would like to die now he’s older, he joked: “I want my kids and the people that love me to (be able to tell a story like), ‘Oh, Jimmy died… funny story. He flew to South Africa and he went on one of those great shark cage experiences and he forgoed the cage. He said, no cage for me, thanks. I’ll just jump in there with a fish’.

“And I was ravaged by sharks. That would be a way to go.”

Recommended reading:

What is meningitis?

According to the NHS website, meningitis is "an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges)."

It can affect anyone, but it is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults.

The website adds: "It can cause life-threatening sepsis and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.

"A number of vaccinations are available that offer some protection against meningitis."

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Wake with Kathy Burke is available wherever you get your podcasts.