Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion

Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion


“It’s like you’re going to war and you’re not winning,” says Aurelie of her alcoholism. She has a French accent and a poetic turn of phrase. Contemplating quitting after 30 years of drinking, she tells Louis Theroux, “It’s like trying to take the roots out of a tree.”

She is one of several memorable contributors to another riveting piece of television from Theroux. Of course, it’s not always easy to watch, as he explores what really extreme drinkers do to themselves and those around them, but there are lighter moments. When antiques dealer Stuart has pints of grim fluid drained from his abdominal cavity in hospital, Theroux notes in passing, “It’s got a nice head on it.”

No one is better than him at, like a good rugby fly-half, reacting to what’s in front of him. That includes here some astonishing tales of recovery and relapse, most memorably that of seemingly switched-on Joe.


The reporter visits the liver centre at King's College Hospital, London, and meets alcoholics in need of special treatment for the damage heavy drinking has done to their bodies. He talks to the patients about their battle with addiction and its impact on their health, as well as meeting the doctors trying to save them and discovering the consequences for their families.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Louis Theroux
Director Tom Barrow
Executive Producer Aysha Rafaele
Producer Tom Barrow