My sober heroes

I was running today and thinking about sober role models and who mine are.  For me it has to be Zoe Ball and Norman Cook, aka FatBoySlim.

zoe ball


A couple of reasons really:

Zoe typified the ‘ladette’ culture here in the UK that was so prevalent when I was in my 20’s and 30’s and the picture above pretty much summed it up.  Hard living and hard partying that was me too.

zoe and fat boy

I am also a huge fan of her husband, who is world famous for his DJ work, and he is also a big raver – as was I (back in the day!)

These two people both together and individually were part of my cultural identity and happened to live in the same city as me, and me and MrHOF would see them out and about in the bars and clubs.  I saw us as like them (I wish!!)

But together in 2009 they decided to get clean and sober.  So if they could do it why couldn’t MrHOF and I?  They both struggled with alcohol and have been open about their struggles and their story just resonates:


“I wanted to give up drinking because my body couldn’t tolerate it any more and I didn’t really know when to stop and I hated myself for half the week.

“I’d wake up hung–over after a night out and think, ‘Oh God, what did I say? What did I do?’ It got to the point where I would drink a bottle of Sancerre and become the crazy, ranting woman.”

With the help of a therapist Zoë came off booze and three months later husband Norman went to rehab with the same intention. That was five years ago and they have both been sober since.


I get a completely different buzz nowadays. In rehab they taught me about euphoric recall.

‘When I’m in a situation where everyone is “having it” I have memories of the past coming back to me.

‘I get a natural high from remembering those times.’

Hell if they can do it I can do it.  Who’s your sober hero or heroine?

74 days to go

14 thoughts on “My sober heroes

  1. Love Norman Cook, even when he was back with the Housemartins (I date myself here). I didn’t know he was one of the sober folks! That just bumped up my respect for him. I don’t know Zoe, but regardless, glad to see two well known folks get clean and sober and also not make a big deal of it.

    Thanks for this!

    1. Hey Paul I loved Norman when he was one of the Housemartins too 😉

      1. So it would seem (according to Wiki) MrHOF shared a story of friends being really unimpressed with A Beautiful South gig as they were so pissed!

  2. I love FatBoy Slim and had no idea that Norman and Zoe are “just like us.” My sober hero is David Sedaris.

    1. Hey Julie I had to google David Sedaris as I had no idea who he was! 🙂

      1. Thanks Julie 🙂 Yep knocked the fags on the head too – now just the chocolate to deal with!! 😉

    1. He was Mrs D and many other bands too, including Beats International . Ooh Colin Farrell – now there’s a reformed bad boy to lust after 😉 xx

  3. Love David Sedaris, he is so clever and funny. Didn’t know he was sober. Mine I think is Craig Ferguson, because I met him once when I was about 16 and he was supporting Harry Enfield. Me and my mate went round the back of the gig after to get Harry’s autograph and couldn’t get anywhere near him, so ended up talking to Craig F instead. I was so shy could barely speak to the opposite sex in those days, so it was wildly exciting. Had no idea until found sober blogs that he had made it big in the states or that he was a recovering alcoholic, but have always been a little bit in love with him 😉

    1. Hey MTM I only discovered Craig when hanging out here as has done some great work about sobriety that I’ve caught on Youtube. Young love huh? 😉

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