The Black Lace frontman was left housebound as he battled a leg infection, and began bidding on guitars and clothes to relieve his boredom.

However, he continued to stay at home and keep a tab on auctions even after he had recovered.

Eventually the Agadoo star's wife became so worried, she urged him to seek out psychological help to beat his shopping addiction, and he has now backed a drive to help others with similar addictions receive treatment through Britain's National Health Service (NHS).

"It started off just as something to do while I was sitting around the house. Then I became addicted," Dene tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper. "I was compensating for the loss of performing. For me, winning a bid gave me the same feeling as the applause of a crowd.

"I went through thousands and thousands of pounds bidding on anything I could, finding reasons not to leave the house so I could shop. Eventually my wife Karen turned round one day and said 'You need help'.

"It is definitely an illness and people need help to conquer it. I was fortunate to have help from a psychologist so it is great news that help could be available on the NHS...

"I still have my eBay account but I've calmed down now. I couldn't go on spending what I was. It put a terrible strain on all parts of my life."