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Louis Theroux has spoken out about his ‘borderline drink problem’ he faced during the ‘despair’ of the pandemic, saying he found certain periods of lockdown ‘completely incapacitating’.
Theroux, 51, said parenting became a struggle when home-schooling while working from home became the new reality for many families across the country.
Appearing on the True Geordie Podcast, the documentary filmmaker - who lives in north-west London with wife Nancy and their three children - Albert, 15, Frederick, 13, and six-year-old Walter - was asked about his ‘drink problem’ and how his relationship with booze has changed during the pandemic.
Theroux clarified that it was a ‘borderline drink problem’, saying: “During the pandemic, I was drinking bourbon – Kentucky bourbon. And I got into something called Bulleit, which an American friend had introduced me to."
Theroux said he worried he’d mentioned the whisky so much in his book that Bulleit might send him loads of free booze – admitting he’d probably prefer to ‘keep a dispassionate distance from it’.
He added: “I’ve got some bourbon in the house, but typically if I had bourbon, I’ll be like, ‘F*** it, I’m going to have some now'.”
Theroux said he’s ‘having a dry January’, having managed a three-day streak after giving himself the bank holiday Monday off.
“So I’m feeling quite smug,” he joked.
When asked how many glasses of whisky he might get through in one night, Theroux said he doesn’t really ‘keep tabs’, but revealed it was ‘quite a lot’.
He continued: “I don’t use the term ‘blackout’, but there were several times when I would wake up on the sofa or on the spare bed, not quite remembering the last couple of hours.
“For some reason, January 6, the night of the insurrection, I got mullered. I think there was a lot going on, and a lot of the people involved in what was going on at the White House – some of them were people that we’d been in touch with for documentaries, and had been in the process of making a documentary about members of far-right groups. And I was thinking, ‘This is so weird, what’s going on over there’.
As for lockdown in general, Theroux said he found the experience ‘horrendous’.
Theroux said: “I have to acknowledge I had it easier than most in the sense that I’m well-paid, I’ve got a nice house – I don’t have those insecurities.
“But it was horrendous. From where I was sitting, the experience I had was what I have to hold on to, because you get further away from it and it dims a bit, and you sort of remember the more positive aspects. But parts of it I found totally, almost incapacitating.
“And specifically it was the feeling of having a young child at home – and I think anyone who’s listening to this or watching this who had young children at home, who weren’t in school during the lockdown, while also attempting to do a job from home, will recognise this – and you’ve got a deadline or you’ve got someone expecting something from you or an important call, and then you have a small child who’s too young to really be independent or to be able to take care of home schooling on his own, and they’re kicking off.
“And actually it’s a very weird and upsetting feeling, because it feels like it’s a combination of sadness and rage.”
He added: “It’s despair, it’s utter anguish.”
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