Dear RTE,

I was watching your Claire Byrne Live show last night with great interest. It was possibly one of the most revealing and uplifting shows I have ever seen on your channels. I learnt that I, a recovering alcoholic, can now drink a little glass of wine every now and then. I am going to try this tonight. I’ll let you know how I get on. If it works for me, I may even decide to introduce cocaine into my lifestyle again, but just the one little line.

I haven’t touched a drink for 16 months now and every day I struggle with the ‘can I or can’t I’ battle that’s going on in my head. After a long and stressful day at work there are times I would love to have ‘one’ drink. Until now I didn’t think this possible. I thought the definition of an alcoholic was when you start you cannot stop. However, after watching your programme last night, this doesn’t seem to be the case. If the State broadcaster has an individual on its show who claims to be an out and out alcoholic but likes to have a ‘little glass of wine’, surely it’s ok for me too! I’m going to forget AA meetings, I’m going to stop wasting money on therapy sessions, I’m going to forget the dark past of my drinking days, I’m going to have a little glass of wine. I used to wonder why I paid my TV licence fee, but not anymore. Now I see the educational benefits of shows such as Claire Byrne Live. Dare I say you may have saved my life!

Some of my other, more senior alcoholic friends tell me that the man was talking nonsense last night, but don’t forget I am only 16 months sober and constantly looking for a real excuse to have a drink. Now I have one. Thank you so much.

Paul Stenson

P.S. Did I tell you I went vegan a few months back but I still allow myself the odd slice of bacon?