Monday, 21 December 2015

The Office Christmas Party

If you think that you used to get into terrible trouble at the office Christmas party, then spare a thought for Zoe Ball...

Regular readers will know that I am a teeny bit obsessed by celebrity drinkers (and ex drinkers), and may remember that back in May I wrote a post titled Celebrity Drinkers (click here).

I had a rant about celebs who (rightly) make a big song and dance about getting sober BUT then announce, to the world, that they are back to drinking in moderation!

Every time that happens it messes with the heads of hundreds of ex-drinkers.

We all start thinking "Well, if xxx can drink 'normally' after a year or two off the sauce, then so can I - hurrah! Crack open the Chablis."

One of the examples I quoted was Zoe Ball.

I'm particularly obsessed by Zoe, for several reasons:

(1) I like her

(2) She's the same age as me

(3) She's married to FatBoy Slim, whose name alone transports me back to my misspent youth and

(4) She was one of the key 'ladettes' of the early nineties who convinced legions of us that we could, and should, drink and party like the boys.

Well, on New Year's day 2009, after a night of 'total carnage', Zoe Ball quit boozing, with the help of a therapist who she saw daily to help her through detox.

She said 'I sat sobbing, knowing that if I didn't stop I'd be destroyed. I'd end up in a mental home.' Zoe's one of our tribe, you see.

Two months later, hubby Norman Cook (FatBoy's real name) went into residential rehab, and since then their once shaky (now very sober) marriage has gone from strength to strength.

Then, shock horror, just over a year ago Zoe announced that she had started drinking again in moderation.

Back then she said: 'Norm doesn't drink at all, but I have the odd one. To be honest, I can't handle the hangovers - I'm an all-or-nothing person. But I know that about myself, which is the key to stopping. Now I think 'moderation in everything.'

We're all 'all-or-nothing' people too, Zoe, that's why we can't drink!

But, needless to say, as soon as I read this the Wine Witch started cackling gleefully "See! See! And she was way worse than you! Go for it! Pour a large one!"

Subsequently, I've read a few articles where Zoe has talked about 'only having one cocktail' when she goes out, 'only drinking once a month,' or similar.

We all know those rules we set ourselves, don't we? And how quickly we break them.

Now, I like to think that I'm a nice person. Kind. Forgiving. Which is why I'm a little ashamed to admit that I was a teensy bit pleased to read about Zoe's antics after the It Takes Two wrap party a few days ago....

Zoe, it appears, got plastered, and snogged a publicity hungry boyband singer half her age in a nightclub in Soho.

Oops. Not a great display of 'moderation in everything.'

I love you, Zoe, so please, for your sake, and for Norm and the kids, quit the booze again.

And, while you're at it, do us all a favour and tell the world that if you are an addict, an all-or-nothing type, then moderation really isn't going to work.

So, my friends, if you're - like me - finding the idea of a sober Christmas and New Year difficult, and you're thinking maybe I could just have the one....

.....then remember Zoe Ball and crack open a(n alcohol free) Becks Blue instead.

Moderation: it's not possible, and it's not worth it. (Repeat, ad infinitum)

Big hugs to all of you, and to Zoe and Fatboy,

SM x

P.S. If you find this post, Zoe, mail me on and I'll pop round with a thermos of hot chocolate.


  1. Oh my goodness I bet she was cringing the next day. He was so young and she definitely had beer goggles on when she snogged him. I am obsessed with sober celebs too and really wish some of them would be af and proud. When they start drinking 'in moderation' again it really makes me think I'll try it. I know I can drink if I want to. I also know where it will likely lead. I know I'm happier without alcohol. But the thought is always there. Come on zoe get in touch with sober mummy and support us!!!

  2. I do hope she reads this and contacts you.

    Just think of the outpouring of compassion and understanding she would receive if she were to recognize the truth, that moderation is a farce and sobriety is a gift.


  3. Wow! I never knew that about Zoe Ball, I knew she used to be a laddette but I didn't know she'd given up completely. Chris Evans is another one.... any others I may not know about?

    1. David Beckham! Anna Wintour. David Walliams. Charlotte and Samantha from Sex in the City. It's becoming fashionable!

  4. I also hate when people start the moderation phase.
    I have to watch myself so I don't start the thinking I can do it!
    I can't, ever.

  5. Ahhh, Zoe, Fatboy, Chris Evans....memories come flooding back, a summer night on Brighton Beach...and lots and lots of booze...Poor Zoe, hope she gets in touch.

  6. It really annoys me how David Beckham proclaims to be teetotal yet gets paid lots of money to advertise Haig Club whisky, I think it is really irresponsible and even immoral.

    1. Great point, Duchess! And what a bizarre choice for the brand to make - a sober ambassador?

  7. I am thinking that today is the 22nd and I hope that your radiotherapy is now behind you (so to speak). Thankyou so much for your blog - it's a bit like having a therapist on call! I'm just googling recipes for beef wellington - Waitrose are on their way (I hope!) with a fillet of beef for Friday and have found brilliant article on Guardian website where she compares the differences in all the recipes which are "out there" - she's done my job for me, I love to pick and mix! I'm just doing the "one step at a time" thing and as you recommend trying to "go with the flow". I'm a control freak normally, but this is surprisingly liberating. I wish you all the best - peace, good food, family and friends - and hope you enjoy a well-deserved break from "real life".

    1. I love beef Wellington! Thanks for thinking of me. I had one day of radio cancelled, so now my last day is tomorrow! Nearly there. Am exhausted now....

  8. I liked Norman Cook the best when he was in the Housemartins! :D. I had no idea Zoe was trying moderation, off to do some celeb googling!