Celebrity Rehab Channel 4, starts Wed 19 Jul, 9pm.
As Specials frontman and well- known teetotaller Terry Hall once pointed out, 'there's a wanker and then there’s a wanker on drugs'. Channel 4’s latest documentary offering sets out to explore the eternal link between fame and addiction as well as the growing vogue for rehabilitation.
Once upon a time, the rich and famous stayed at the Hilton and trashed their rooms after a spot of alternative hoovering while press and entourage turned a blind eye. All of which left stars hastening towards a glamorous, premature death. Today, celebrity binges are predictably followed by a well- publicised spell at the pleasure of the Priory Group before embarking on the 'Please Forgive Me' interview circuit.
The image of Kate Moss, Caroline Aherne et al emerging from some exclusive treatment centre looking pale and emaciated is so familiar that it might well have been the back of your hand drying out. It’s the flipside of an ever-inflating celebrity culture. As the pages of Hello are increasingly crowded with beautiful clothes- hangers, so the tabloids are kept supplied with 'Star Drug Shame' headlines.
So, is the current vogue for rehab simply the latest celebrity fashion accessory or is it indicative of something more significant? Celebrity Rehab producer Gabrielle Osrin believes the phenomenon will have a positive effect on the availability of treatment for less fortunate addicts. ’When celebrities go into treatment, we take notice,’ she asserts. ’Although the best addiction therapy is currently only available in the private sector, the fact that so many well-known figures are seeking help will hopefully put pressure on government bodies to look into what treatment the NHS should be providing for addicts who don't have money.‘
The two films are presented by gravel-voiced ’Beechy' Colclough, director of treatment at the PROMIS recovery centre and himself a recovering alcoholic. Contributors
’Beechy’ Colclough promises celebrities a miracle
include comedian Jim Davidson, torch singer Marc Almond and TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright, each of whom will be dining out on tales of addiction excess well beyond the next millennium. Dickson-Wright reveals how months of alcoholic oblivion left her with no recollection of the Falklands crisis while Squeeze singer Chris Difford admits to having successfully overcome heroin only to develop a secondary addiction to shopping.
Colclough asks us not to sit in judgement of those featured but, at the risk of sounding like the disapproving tabloids, it’s often impossible to sympathise with those who squander their wealth and talents (particularly when they're Jim Davidson). ‘l was cynical when I first became involved in the programme,’ admits Osrin. 'But the stories these celebrities tell and the relationships they had with their drug of choice are typical of any addict.’ (Allan Radcliffe)
Professor Susan Greenfield plays mind games with the viewers
DOCUMENTARY SERIES Brain Story BBCZ, starts Tue 18 Jul, 9pm.
’Nothing needs to be difficult if you approach it in the right way,’ says Britain's leading neuroscientist, Professor Susan Greenfield When it was published three years ago, her best-selling book The Human Brain A Guided Tour, helped fuel the idea that any person could gain a basic understanding of the intricate workings of the brain Without a doctorate in the Slll)](‘(l
So successful was Prof (ii'eenfield's approach that she was then asked to present a series of six programmes, examining Just what it is about that sciuidgy mass in our heads that makes us think, act and feel the way we do far from being a Sesame Street—style
dumbing—down of the Stll)](?(l, Prof Greenfield’s Brain Story introduces the broad complexmes of neuroscience in straightforward terms With real life examples that Illustrate the isolated functions of our brains,
The first episode, ’All In The lvlind’, is destined to spark some controversy. The deconstruction of human beings, their emotions and even their religious tendencies into a sum of their neural functions may be a liberating View for some, it Will undoubtedly cause offence to others ’All I'm saying is that you only have your brain to interpret the world,‘ comments Greenfield, aware of treading carefully in the area. 'Is it not possible that even diVine experience is generated Within the brain? I’m not going to be rude and say God doesn’t eXIst '
We put TV celebs on the couch. This issue: Shane Richie
Born Spring chicken Shane entered this world on 11 March 1964.
Big break Blue-eyed and stiff of ciuiff, he was presented With an award for ’Best Up And Coming Act With Star Quality' at the end of his first summer season in the Channel Islands But it was as the outlandish host of daytime quiz show Win, Lose Or Draw that he really caught Joe Publici's attention. Despite the inconvenience of sharing a celebrity guest pool With Through The Keyhole and a budget of 50p, the show scored over 50% of morning ratings. Not such a great achievement when you consider its main rivals were Anne And Nick,
Finest hour Not content With fronting prime time shows Love Me Do and Lucky Numbers (With its hilarious catchphrase ’Show us y0ur ballsl’) Shane consolidated his popularity With an all-singing, all-dancing turn as Danny Zuko in the reVival of Grease This was followed by the lead role in 70s musical Boogie Nights (nothing to do With porn, sadly). However, most would agree that Shane's legacy Will be his series of commercials for a well- known soap product.
Next! The peOpIe’s favourite has returned to his original love of acting, With a speCial guest appearance in The Bill spin-off, Burnside. Shane Will play an informer opposite scary-eyed tough cop DCI Burnside (Christopher Ellisoni
Little know fact More immediately associated With Barry Gibb than the Bard, Shane was pleased as punch When director Michael Bogdanov inVited him to play the Porter in a special film version of Macbeth alongside Sean Pertwee and Greta Scacchi. If only someone had watched the film
Not to be mistaken for Paul Shane, Shane fvlacGowan, Shannon Doherty. (Allan Radcliffe)
S?! Burnside, Scottish, starts Thu 6 Jul, 9pm,
6 20 Jul 2000 THE llST107