More sober role-modelling on TV! I’m a fan of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon and so was delighted when their series ‘The Trip to Italy’ started having watched ‘The Trip’ back in 2010. Like Steve I was still caught in active addiction back then ….
This is the BBC’s synopsis of the first episode:
Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are asked by The Observer to do another series of restaurant reviews. The pair have six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy.
They begin in Piemonte at the Trattoria Della Posta before stopping at Byron’s house in Genova on their way to the Cenobio dei Dogi in Camogli. Steve is on hiatus from his American series and isn’t drinking, while Rob is looking to unwind during his time away from his young family.
In the opening restaurant scene when the waitress goes to pour him wine, after serving Rob, Steve shares that he won’t be drinking on the trip as he gave up drinking 9 months ago! I was really pleased by this change to the story line and Rob is suitably surprised by this disclosure.
It is very funny and if you’d like to watch it you can do so here.
The only downside is that it is Steve’s on-screen persona that has given up not him in real life as in an interview with the Huffington Post it is reported that:
Rob Brydon admits that he and Steve Coogan were “completely p***ed” for quite a bit of time on the idyllic set of the second series of The Trip
Edited to add: 17/04/2014 Bugger – just watching second episode in which he starts drinking alcohol again at lunchtime. Oh well – it lasted one episode sigh
Edited to add: 07/10/2015 Steve Coogan interview here quoted saying:
Is life without alcohol as shit as it looks? (John Higgins)
No. I’ve got to the stage now where I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to be able to make small talk when I’m completely sober. What happens is, everyone’s fun until about 11 o clock, wherever you are, and when they start to get boring and repetitive because they’re getting progressively more drunk and that’s when you go. I go home early now. I don’t think, ‘This is really rubbish,’ I’m just thinking, ‘I want to go home. I like the idea of going home.’ If you’ve got a drink in your hand, even boring people can be somewhat interesting. As long as you find interesting people, you don’t need a drink.
Read further excerpts from his new autobiography, Easily Distracted here:
Edited to add: 7th April 2017
The 3rd series has now been launched on Sky Atlantic, not the BBC sadly, but available to watch online as box set.
This was one of the reviews in The Guardian which discussed Steve’s once again sober status (yay!!)
Since last year, Coogan has been teetotal, and it’s hard not to wonder if this has detracted from the pleasure of making this season of The Trip – as Brydon has merrily sipped away at the finest albarinos and tempranillos, he has stuck resolutely to Diet Coke and water.
“Let me say he’s a much nicer person to be around because he’s not drinking,” Brydon says. “Well,” Coogan says, “I did drugs too, and the thing is between getting – how shall we put it? – ‘off one’s tits’, it’s how you are in the refrain from it. It’s about not liking yourself, and if you like yourself you like other people as well. And when I was drinking … I wouldn’t say I didn’t like myself completely …”
“No, you were quite fond of yourself,” Brydon interjects. “From where I was standing you were quite enamoured …” Coogan laughs. “I wouldn’t say enamoured,” he says. “I wouldn’t say I liked myself, I’d say I disapproved of other people more.” Brydon nods. “That’s very true. Very true.” “But now,” Coogan continues, “I am just … happier.” He says the word in a small way. Brydon glances at him. “I don’t like the upward inflection there,” he says sternly. “I’m just happier,” Coogan says again, this time more resoundingly. “Thank you,” Brydon says. “You’re better than that. We are not upward inflectors.”
And for those after a clip where his Diet Coke can be clearly seen. Who says you need booze to enjoy good food and good company? 😉