British rocker Chris Rea credits his wife with forcing him out of a deep depression following debilitating surgery to remove his pancreas.

The diabetic ROAD TO HELL star's weight plummeted to 50 kilograms (eight stone) after the life-saving operation, and the procedure left Rea with a severe depression he found difficult to shake until his spouse JOAN stepped in.

The 54-year-old says, "The operation left me very emotional. I cry a lot anyway. I've always been the type to feel hurt easily, but now I hit rock bottom.

"I was very depressed. Life could have just drifted away from me at that point.

"But Joan tried everything. She knew we needed to create some rhythm in life for us. Joan knew I needed to do very gentle exercise. She knew I needed to try to eat something, however small. Food had to be chopped up into tiny pieces.

"(But) I'm always going to be fighting. It's the way it is."