i The following offers are open to Clyde

l Card holders only.


ORCHESTRA £3 tickets for £2 for Glasgow Symphony Orchestra’s performance

the Henry Wood llall on 1 Dec at 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticket Centre, ; 041 227 5511 and all Ticketlink outlets.

oi Tchaikovsky, Grieg and berlioz at i , , different, as Eddie Gibb


Two tickets for the price of one for Carlo Coldoni’s production of Don Juan at the Citizens Theatre, Circle Studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

from 18 Nov—11 Dec at 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticket Centre, 041 227

5511 and all Ticketlink outlets.


Two tickets tor the price oi one for the City ot Glasgow Chorus’s perlormance ot Verdi’s Requiem at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 5 Dec at 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticket Centre, 041 221 5511 and all Ticketlink outlets.


Stalls and Dress Circle tickets for £10 and Upper Circle and Balcony tickets for £5 tor the Peter Hall-directed ; Piaf at the Theatre Royal, lrom , 22-27 llov at 7.15pm and 27 llov at i 2.15pm. Tickets from Ticket Centre,

041 227 5511 and all Ticketlink outlets.


Two tickets for the price at one for Strongbox Theatre’s production oi A Stinging Sea at the Citizens Theatre, Stalls Studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays lrom16—27 llov at 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticket Centre, 041 227 5511 and all Ticketlink outlets

i To take up one of these offers present : your Clyde Card to the venue box

. otiice. All otters subject to

availability. CLYDE ; "lint-5 : Listen to Clyde 1 and Clyde 2 tor further details.



Heavy betting

Like smoking, gambling is usually portrayed as pretty cool in the movies. For compulsive gamblers, the reality is very

, finds out.

Fitz clearly doesn't want to be there.

The stakes are already high because he

v suspects the therapist. sorry that should

read ‘group facilitator'. ofscrewing his wife. So what better way to settle the score than disrupting the session with an impromptu poker school. Fitz pulls a pack of cards out of his hip pocket and the self-help group is immediately forgotten as its members gather round to lay their bets.

This scene is from the first series of Cracker which finished last week starring Robbie Coltrane as the criminal psychologist with problems of his own. It's played for laughs but illustrates a serious point that is central

to the whole business oftrying to kick the gambling habit. a sub-plot that runs

throughout the series. That is. until you want to stop. you never will. This is not the same as saying to your wife. as Fitz does. ‘1’” cut down ifyou come back

home‘. It's a question of hitting rock 3 bottom and admitting you have an

unmanageable problem. ‘When I was gambling I didn‘t give a

; damn about anything but gambling.‘

says James (not his real name), who has

attended Gamblers Anonymous Q meetings. on and off. for the last twenty

years. ‘You lose all sense of priorities;

. the gas bill doesn't get paid. the : electricity bill doesn‘t get paid. the rent . doesn‘t get paid.‘

James's story is remarkable to non- gamblers. but will be familiar to

i anyone who has been caught in the grip 2 of an addiction. whether it be drink.

drugs or gambling. He is now 52 years

. old and has been a compulsive gambler : since he was fourteen. The horses were

.lames‘s ‘forte’, as he puts it. but he would have bet on two fiies climbing a

, wall ifanyone would have given him zodds

The desperate need to find money to gamble led him from stealing to drug ; smuggling. something which turned out L not to be his forte and resulted in a ? stretch inside a foreign prison. But for l him. rock bottom was something more , mundane gambling an entire month's salary in an aftemoon before running 3 away to Paris to escape his 1 responsibilities. ‘Gamblers are loners.‘ he says. ‘We ' have the ability to hide everything from 'those close to us. it's an illness that ; manifests itself in such a way that we are oblivious to the problems we are Ecreating around us.‘ James looked at his life and realised he needed help. ‘Call it divine intervention one day I .just made up my mind never to gamble

again.’ he remembers.

And for two years he didn’t. James regularly attended GA meetings. which for every new member start in the same way: ‘My name is . . . and I‘m a

compulsive gambler.‘ Fitz never

', reached the starting line but the GA handbook is clear that anyone serious

about quitting gambling must begin this ? way.

II on Red in Cracker

gambling with some other activity is common to all addicts. according to lain Brown. a senior psychology lecturer at Glasgow University and gambling expert.

'The meetings play apart in filling that gambling-shaped gap.‘ he says. ‘The addictive way of life is centred getting all rewards and satisfactions

from one action and people‘s characters are shaped by that way of life.‘

‘Camblers are loners. We have i

the ability to hide everything from those close to us. It’s an illness that manifests itself in such a way that we are oblivious to the problems we are creating around us.’

When James stopped attending the

meetings he started gambling but his

§ second attempt to stop has been more 2 successful. ‘l‘ve been clean for six

; years.‘ he says. using a term borrowed I from drug culture. But the weekly

3 meeting is still an important fixture in

I the diary to ‘get my fix. and hopefully

become stronger from it.‘ The need to replace time spent

There have been no major studies of gambling in the UK but Brown believes

the numbers ofgamblers are increasing.

particularly among young males who become hooked on fruit machines. Though GA meetings tend to be an almost exclusively male club. that's not to say women don't have gambling problems they arejust less likely to go to self-help groups.

For James. who says gambling brought him ‘nothing but misery'. joining GA was the turning point. With the second series of Cracker due to be filmed. perhaps there will be a scene which opens with the line: ‘My name is Fitz and I’m a compulsive gambler‘. Gamblers Anonymous holds weekly meetings in [Edinburgh and Glasgow For details in confidence call 03] 334 2302 or 04/ 425 [600.

List l9 November—2 December