Main content

Breathalysing Britain: Free Spirits Or a Drain on Society?

Addiction expert Dr Sally Marlow gives a talk about our attitudes to alcohol. She then joins a debate with Professor Barry Smith, David Yelland and Shelina Zahra Janmohamed.

Every day we read lurid headlines about alcohol abuse and the consequences of binge drinking for the young at home and abroad. But a deeper look reveals a complicated picture of alcohol use in Britain. Champagne is still linked with celebration, while pubs are closing up and down the country. University freshers' weeks are adjusting to reflect the increasing number of students who are teetotal - but doctors are reporting a rise in patients with liver damage. How should society accommodate people who drink to excess and those who don't want to drink at all?

Dr Sally Marlow from King's College, London is an expert in addiction. In a specially commissioned Free Thinking talk she explores the hypocrisy in society around alcohol.

Joining the debate chaired by Free Thinking presenter Philip Dodd are:

Professor Barry Smith - philosopher from the University of London's School of Advanced Study and wine columnist for Prospect magazine.

David Yelland - former editor of the Sun and a Trustee of Action on Addiction and Patron of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics.

Shelina Zahra Janmohamed, author of Love in a Headscarf and Muslim women's activist, who blogs at Spirit 21 and who is a lifelong teetotaller.

Recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

Available now

45 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Sally Marlow
Presenter Philip Dodd
Interviewed Guest Barry Smith
Interviewed Guest David Yelland
Interviewed Guest Shelina Janmohamed
Producer Torquil MacLeod

Broadcast

Featured in...

The Arts & Ideas Podcast

The Arts & Ideas Podcast

You can download all the past episodes of Radio 3's Free Thinking

Discussions and talks from the Free Thinking Festival 2019

Discussions and talks from the Free Thinking Festival 2019

Angry politics, what we can’t say, being diplomatic, weeping, emotion in music, film & TV

Click to listen to discussions, talks and music as the Free Thinking Festival 2019 Gets Emotional

Click to listen to discussions, talks and music as the Free Thinking Festival 2019 Gets Emotional

Angry politics, what we can’t say, being diplomatic, weeping, emotion in music, film & TV

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One & the Many

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One & the Many

We examine the fast-changing relationship between the individual & the crowd

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

Free Thinking Festival 2017: The Speed of Life