When Louis met Ellie
Ellie Morton is editor of @King's, the Trust magazine for patients, staff and the local community. She caught up with Louis on his last day of filming Drinking to Oblivion, to find out about the project and his time at King’s.
"Alcohol is the most common addiction in the UK. Most people associate addictions with illegal substances, but alcohol is far more widespread, which is why I was interested in making a programme about it. It’s very relatable. Most of us drink – sometimes more than we ought to – but the patients we’ve been filming drink far more than normal, sometimes to the point of self-destruction.
"It’s hard to know why people become addicted to alcohol. To outsiders it may look like an easy decision, but it’s nowhere near that simple. We’re not so much interested in the science around it as we are in the effects on the patients’ lives and the consequences for their loved ones when drinking loses the social aspect and becomes a compulsion.
"I’ve found out a lot about the liver than I didn’t know before. I probably drink more than I should, but in a test that indicates damage to the liver, I scored better than expected. The liver is a more resilient organ than we think, but clearly there are limits.
"Hospitals like King’s are fascinating places to be. King’s is the first UK hospital I’ve filmed in, and the professionalism and dedication of the staff never ceases to amaze me. It’s a unique atmosphere – all cross sections of society come through the doors, and we see all aspects of life – the beginning, the end, and everything in between.
"The NHS is fantastic, but I could never be a doctor. My three sons were all born in NHS hospitals, and it’s helped my family countless times over the years. I’m too squeamish and too indecisive to be a doctor – they have to cope under pressure and make important decisions quickly. I’ll stick to TV!"