Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

IAN Dick­son has had a much-pub­li­cised battle with the booze. In 2007 he ad­mit­ted he was an al­co­holic. ‘‘Am I an al­co­holic or not? Yes, I think I aman al­co­holic,’’ Dick­son said at the time. ‘‘I think a lot more peo­ple are liv­ing un­der the cosh of booze than they are pre­pared to recog­nise.’’ It is a very dif­fer­ent Dick­son in 2011. ‘‘I haven’t had a drink for two-and-a-half years,’’ he says proudly. ‘‘I’m fit. I play golf twice a week. I’m madly in love with my wife af­ter 25 years. Life couldn’t be bet­ter. ‘‘I miss get­ting drunk, if I’m hon­est. I re­ally miss the obliv­ion, but that quickly passes.’’ hung out to dry.’’

Can of Worms isn’t the first time Dick­son has hosted a TV show. At the end of 2004, he de­fected to Seven when Idol was at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity. He wanted to broaden his in­ter­ests as a pre­sen­ter and pro­ducer.

In 2005, he fol­lowed Cur­tis Stone as host of My Restau­rant Rules. The fol­low­ing year he hosted Celebrity Sur­vivor. Dick­son was or­di­nary at both.

‘‘ I’ve got to be hon­est about this, there’s no point beat­ing around the bush. I went to Seven for the money — pure greed,’’ Dick­son says.

‘‘ I was warned against it. Peo­ple at Ten told me that I needed to stay on Idol and con­sol­i­date.

‘‘ I be­lieved my own hype. I thought I was more than a judge. I thought I could step into a pre­sent­ing role and it would be easy. It was a huge amount of money and some­one like me couldn’t turn it down.’’

That is the thing about Dick­son. Love him or hate him, he al­ways calls a spade a spade.

‘‘ Frankly, it’s prob­a­bly the only skill I have — this swash­buck­ling sense of can­dour,’’ Dick­son says. Can Of Worms Chan­nel 10, Mon­day, 8.30pm

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