herald

Tuesday 22 January 2019

A Drunk think tank could be just what we need on booze

People have been drunk, and out of it, on television many times.

Oliver Reed famously turned up to the Channel 4 show After Dark and tried to kiss feminist Kate Millett. He also appeared on Michael Parkinson a bit worse for wear.

From Tara Palmer-Tomkinson mumbling to Frank Skinner, to Alesha Dickson admitting to being "pickled" on Alan Carr's show (but then lots of people are pickled on Alan Carr's show), celebrities have been happy to reveal their inner drunk for our entertainment.

And then, of course, there are the shows where young adults proudly show off their ability to knock back shots.

puking

Ibiza Uncovered and the more recent Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, have given us an insight into the boozing, puking and shagging antics of youngsters on holidays.

Watching people drink on television has shocked and entertained us for years. Now we have a new series starting on RTE2, tonight, simply called Drunk. I was at a television convention last year and saw this series being pitched to the group.

The concept is originally from Norway and it caught my eye.

It was described as following: "In a controlled studio setting a bunch of human guinea pigs will be served a cocktail of hard drinks and scientific experiments.

"Without preaching or pointing fingers, Drunk will answer all the questions about alcohol that you were always too drunk to ask! Can you blame intoxication for all the stupid things you do? And is there really no cure for a hangover?"

The show, fronted by Eoghan McDermott, is perfectly timed to investigate the effects of alcohol on our bodies.

We Irish don't fare well in relation to our European counterparts. According to Alcohol Action Ireland, the rate of alcoholic liver disease among 15 to 34-year-olds increased by 275pc between 1995 and 2009.

frighten

But what is the desired effect of this show? Is it to frighten us into cutting back our consumption, or will we laugh at the antics of the drunken youths as the drink is poured down their throats?

Will the programme makers want us to drink along, the way many like to eat cakes during the Great Irish and British Bake Offs?

Or should we be staying sober and feeling like the designated driver?

Drunk sounds like an interesting series, and I'll tune in, to observe and learn. But I wonder if I will be laughing with or laughing at the participants?

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