Modesty and humility being big parts of what make me such a likeable and popular character, I very rarely blow my own trumpet on here. But something happened last night which leaves me with little option.
I had been doing a discussion with the lovely Delia Smith at the BMA, her explaining why she does God, me saying why I don’t, as part of a Lancaster University series on faith in public life. (It will be going online soon enough and I will let you know etc)
Afterwards there was a reception and bounding up to me came a man and a woman who said they had come along with the sole purpose of telling me that I had achieved something extraordinary.
These two people look after elderly people in care and they explained that one such, a 97 year old woman with dementia who had also developed a drink problem late in life, had suddenly stopped drinking after watching my documentary on alcoholism, Britain’s Hidden Alcoholics, from earlier this year. She watched it not once, twice or three times, but four times, which is probably more than the editor did.
They explained that watching a programme more than once was not uncommon for dementia patients. But what was remarkable was that the following morning the old woman announced to them that she had decided to give up drinking because of the film. She has not touched a drop since.
As the British booze tsunami reaches its high tide in the run up to Christmas, I take pride and pleasure in the reduction of anyone’s alcohol consumption. Don’t forget Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign btw.
But the other moral of the story is one I have sought to apply through my life as a communicator – sometimes you have to say something four times before it gets through.
You know the kind of thing. Osborne’s strategy isn’t working. Osborne’s strategy isn’t working. Osborne’s strategy isn’t working. Osborne’s strategy isn’t working.