Booze-fu­elled stars of Doc­tor Fos­ter ‘set a dan­ger­ous ex­am­ple’

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Laura Lam­bert news@dai­ly­mail.ie

HIT drama Doc­tor Fos­ter has been ac­cused of pro­mot­ing an ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’ mes­sage on drink­ing.

Crit­ics say the char­ac­ters binge-drink and use al­co­hol as a crutch to get over prob­lems. Many use large glasses and in at least one scene the lead char­ac­ter swigs from a bot­tle.

Al­co­hol aware­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions

‘A third of a bot­tle in one glass’

have com­plained that wine fea­tures promi­nently in a number of scenes in the BBC1 drama, in­clud­ing tense con­fronta­tions, soli­tary evenings in and even con­ver­sa­tions in the street.

In one con­tro­ver­sial mo­ment, lead char­ac­ter Gemma Fos­ter, a GP played by Su­ranne Jones, is seen drink­ing with her 15-year-old son’s friend in his home.

While Gemma is shown to be ex­tremely trou­bled by her feud with ex-hus­band Simon, her binge-drink­ing habits have raised con­cerns.

Cam­paigner He­lena Conibear said: ‘Por­tray­ing al­co­hol as a way to cope with stress and pres­sure is wor­ry­ing, as is the im­age of drink­ing on your own.

‘The glasses shown are of­ten huge, too, and could be hold­ing 250ml of wine, that’s a third of a bot­tle in one glass.’

Dr Sarah Jarvis, med­i­cal ad­viser to Drinkaware, said: ‘I am very sad to see a prime-time drama ef­fec­tively send­ing out the mes­sage that it’s not pos­si­ble to en­joy a so­cial sit­u­a­tion with­out al­co­hol.’

Vanessa Heb­ditch of the Liver Trust in Bri­tain, said: ‘Drink­ing alone, fre­quently or us­ing al­co­hol to re­lieve stress, as the char­ac­ter ap­pears to be do­ing, is dan­ger­ous and can lead to se­ri­ous health prob­lems in­clud­ing liver dis­ease.’

The BBC de­clined to com­ment.

Doc­tor’s love in­ter­est James Swig­ging from the bot­tle: Lead char­ac­ter Dr Fos­ter, played by Su­ranne Jones, be­low and main pic­ture

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