| 7.8°C Dublin

RTE's 'no booze' show a Stone Cold flop

RTE'S latest documentary series Stone Cold Sober is a stone cold flop.

The programme, which follows six young men from Tullow, Co Carlow, as they stop drinking for three months, has earned dismal ratings since it first aired nearly three weeks ago.

The highly publicised show was advertised as a social experiment examining Ireland's drink culture, but each episode was watched by less than 150,000 people.

Each episode shows the group embarking on a series of activities that don't involve alcohol, including visiting amusement parks and surfing.

In Monday's episode, the six lads organised a charity comedy night featuring Jarlath Regan, PJ Gallagher and Neil Delamere which raised €12,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

They also visited the ultimate island of temptation -- Ibiza -- in order to truly test their dedication.

Although the show airs late at 10.25pm, the dismal figures suggest it is a social experiment gone wrong.

The show was originally pitched to the State broadcaster by one of its stars, Gerry Kelly (23), who is studying media at IT Carlow.

He said the idea behind the show was to try something new after becoming bored of drinking every weekend.

"For the first week or two it was tough, but once we got into the groove, it was grand," said Kelly.

"It's hard to get away from alcohol though, whether you're at a music festival or watching TV, there is just always someone somewhere telling you to drink."

Since filming ended, half of the participants have returned to alcohol, but the other are still off the booze.

See page 12