Home UK & World 5 Lessons We Learned From Vicky Pattison: Me, My Dad And Alcohol

5 Lessons We Learned From Vicky Pattison: Me, My Dad And Alcohol


“I really want to have kids,” says Vicky Pattison, tears streaming down her face. “I want my kids to meet you. And I’m so worried, Dad, that if you don’t stop drinking and you don’t get a proper handle on it, that you won’t meet them.”

The reality star, who is perhaps best known for starring – and partying hard – in reality TV show Geordie Shore, is sat in a therapy room on a sofa next to her dad, John, who has struggled with alcohol addiction for 30 years.

The pair are taking part in an exercise to improve their communication and for Vicky, it proves to be the perfect setting to really get things off her chest. She wants her dad to know that he needs to try harder to stop drinking – or he might not live to meet his future grandchildren.

In ‘Me, My Dad And Alcohol’, which airs August 2 at 10pm on Channel 4, we see Vicky and John explore what might’ve led to her dad’s excessive drinking, while also studying why Vicky’s relationship with booze has grown to be problematic.

“I don’t think I’m an alcoholic, but I do have a problem with alcohol,” she admits.

Here are five things we learned from Vicky about what it’s like growing up with a parent who’s impacted by alcoholism.

The roles reverse when a parent struggles

Vicky, who is 34, reflects that her childhood is littered with moments where she knew her dad’s relationship with alcohol was a problem – moments where she felt she was looking after her dad more than he was looking after her.

She recalls being eight or nine and walking back from her aunt’s house with her dad who had been drinking – he was using her as a “human walking stick” to stop himself falling over.

Throughout the documentary she almost takes on a parental role, trying to nudge him down a path of recovery, giving him ultimatums to stop drinking, checking in on him regularly. You can see how much pain and worry his relationship with booze is causing her – and it’s very much like the roles between them have reversed.

A parent’s alcoholism can shape who their children become

Watching clips of herself back on Geordie Shore, Vicky looks visibly uncomfortable. As she witnesses herself having several aggressive outbursts while drunk, she admits she never really used to watch the TV show.

It could be easy to blame appearing on the show at such a young age – she was in her early twenties – for her own problematic relationship with booze. But actually, it began even before that.

Speaking to Sky’s Beth Rigby about the documentary, she said the show definitely “exacerbated” the issues she had with alcohol, but it wasn’t the start of them.

She reflects in the documentary that her dad’s alcoholism “shaped so much of who I am and affected me probably more than I was ever aware of”.


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