Monday 9 June 2014

The Demon Drink

If we want to stop binge drinking, and alcohol-damaged health, and alcohol-damaged families, perhaps the broadcasters could agree to stop using alcohol for a cheap laugh. Wine or beer tastings on the BBC's Countryfile always come with titters and guffaws and big leers. And when an elderly lady comes onto Antiques Roadshow with a claret jug the guffaws and leers are turned up to 11. “Don’t drink it all at once, Gladys!” The old lady gurns and pulls faces and plays along. (We could do with less twinkly condescension to the old, too.)

Nobody smokes on TV or in movies any more. How about a similar ban on drinking?

Tim Wonnacott on Bargain Hunt at an oyster bar: “But there’s something missing!” Barman: Here you are! (Hands over glass of Guinness) Tim W: Ha ha ha ho ho ho!

Presenter: You can lie in the bath, survey your domain.
House hunter: You forgot the champagne!
Presenter: Pat’s mind is on the champers already!

Presenter: Sit out here of an evening, glass of wine.
House hunter: I can just see myself sitting out here with a glass of wine, of an evening. Or two! [Titters all round]

Sit here with a glass of wine, look out over open fields. [Titters]

Sit out on the patio with a glass of wine. [Titters]

Relax in the bath with a glass of wine. [Titters]

Be lovely to sit out there on a summer evening with a glass of wine. [Titters]

Jules Hudson: Chat to your friends and enjoy a glass of wine.

All from Escape to the Country (And how many of these exchanges are scripted?)

Chris Hollins: Is it a glass of sherry or a glass of wine on the terrace in the sunshine?  Cash in the Attic

Naga to Carol: You look a bit squiffy there, are you sure it was just apple juice you had? You say it's apple juice, Carol, but we know!
All: ha ha ha!
BBC Breakfast

Couple who’ve bought a house next to a pub: It’s going to cost a lot in beer!
All: Ha ha ha!
Homes under the Hammer

British Winter Olympics gold medal winner: I celebrated in champagne. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Contestants dither over opening a cupboard: Are we allowed to look inside?
Voiceover: Go on! there might be booze inside!

House owner:
Most people keep food in their fridge – ours is a drinks cabinet.
Voiceover: So that’s where he’s hidden it!
May the Best House Win

More on the demon drink here.
How to drink less here.

Alcoholic euphemisms here.

You can call Alcoholics Anonymous on 0800 9177650, or email them at

1 comment:

  1. Good points. I have a New Yorker collection of humor, which is very unfunny anyway, but also includes a piece by F Scott Fitzgerald - a memoir in drink. It seems remarkably tasteless to include it in such an anthology. It may have some historical interest, but it isn't funny when you know what happened to him,