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High Spirits

Episode 4 of 5

Chris Bowlby hears about the perilous role alcohol can play in vodka-soaked attempts at diplomacy. From 2006.

Chris Bowlby hears what it's like to eat for Britain from such wined-and-dined luminaries as Chris Patten and Christopher Meyer.

In this episode, he hears about the perils of alcoholic customs and vodka-soaked diplomacy.

Tasked with standing up for their country what do diplomats do when all they are only capable of is falling down? From Churchill and Stalin through to the Cold War, the toasting rituals at diplomatic gatherings remained warm, but what was the real reason behind this cordiality?

Producer: Mark Savage

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2006.

13 days left to listen

15 minutes