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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.


Free Thinking Festival - Breathalysing Britain: Free Spirits or a Drain on Society?

November 25th, 2015

Episode 1070 of 1341 episodes

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. Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

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