A Royal Hangover: Drinking Culture in The UK

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This documentary provides insight into the United Kingdom’s reliance on alcohol and the history of their binge drinking culture. In comparison to other countries, binge drinking is more socially acceptable in the UK. Unfortunately, they spend about 21 billion pounds every year because of this problem, with about 1.6 million people being dependent on alcohol. Russell Brand used to be one of them and you’ll hear his speech on this topic, including his own experiences with substance abuse.

Published in 2014

Viewing Time: 55 minutes


“The medics told us to stop filming while they help this guy covered in sick [vomit]. Then they turned around and started laughing at us. They accused us of wasting their time because this guy was only pissed [drunk]. The fact that we were actually concerned for his health was apparently really funny. It just goes to show how normalized scenes like this are on our streets and how we’ve all essentially become numb to it.”

“I’ve seen patients where I’ve gone in to talk to them and have made it perfectly clear to them that they are going to kill themselves if they don’t stop drinking, and their response is ‘If those are my choices, I’m ready to die.’

Russell Brand Speech from Documentary A Royal Hangover, about Binge Drinking Culture in the UK.

“The only community that I’ve ever really felt actually part of, not outside of, is the community of drug addicts and alcoholics. When I was at school, I didn’t feel like I fit in. I’m the only child of a single mother and I didn’t feel like I fit into my family.”


“I think it’s always very difficult for people who aren’t an alcoholic, or who don’t have a problem with alcohol, to see what it’s like to be an alcoholic. It just looks stupid, it looks ridiculous.”

Access to treatment is a huge issue. Compared to drug treatment, alcohol is way down the list. I think there’s a real stigma still around accessing treatment for alcohol. It’s something that’s still perceived to be something to be ashamed of. Something that people are afraid to admit to themselves and to others – that they’ve got a problem.”

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Russell Brand

UK Drinking Culture

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