DRINKING at work used to be far more socially acceptable. These are some of the jobs it was absolutely fine to do while hammered.
From Keith Floyd to Anthony Bourdain, and not forgetting Delia Smith’s legendary half-time rant at a stadium full of Norwich City fans, it used to be de rigueur for TV chefs to be visibly pissed. Now they’ve all turned into either uber-healthy clean eaters or Gordon Ramsay-style hard man twats who wouldn’t want to tarnish their carefully cultivated image by swilling back the red on camera.
According to veteran ad execs, Mad Men actually played down the incredible amount of drinking, smoking and shagging that took place in the 60s. Nowadays, ad execs arrive at their co-working spaces sipping on a green smoothie and give themselves early heart attacks by obsessively worrying about click-through rates, rather than by imbibing four martinis and 20 fags for lunch every day.
Even the most nostalgia-addled, rose-tinted-specs-wearing gammon would probably draw the line at letting a sozzled pisshead fly a passenger jet like they used to in the good old days. Though, judging by the horrifically bumpy landings when you fly Ryanair, you can still get a roughly similar experience.
Between having excessively boozy three-hour lunches and popping to the pub every time they had five minutes to spare, it’s surprising that journalists had a moment to actually report any news back in the day. Modern times have caught up with the profession and it’s now frowned upon to be obviously plastered, but judging by some of the swill that comes from the keyboards of many British columnists, they were better when they were allowed to be three sheets to the wind.
Pretty much every MP who sat in the House before 1979 was half drunk for their entire career, and incapable of making a rational decision post-lunchtime. In fact, it is alleged that Prime Minister’s Questions moved from its traditional 3pm slot to midday so that there was more chance of everyone involved being sober. However, given that PMQs is rowdier and more belligerent than the roughest pub on a Saturday night, it doesn’t seem to have made much difference.