Audio: BBC Radio London with Eddie Nestor (May 3, 2017)

turns out i was on the radio twice yesterday (yeah, that never happens). for the second one, my cell phone rings, and it’s: “can you talk for 5 minutes about being a sober coach, and can you get a penpal from London to come on too?” turns out the answer was YES.

what you will hear in this audio is a recording from BEHIND THE SCENES. You hear the show going on, you hear the producer saying “Belle, we’ll have you on in just a second” and you can hear what it sounded like from my side of the microphone (I was on skype in Paris while they’re recording in London). Then at the end, when they’re ‘done’ with me, you can hear penpal Tom continue onward.

Total length is about 7 minutes from start to finish, though my voice doesn’t begin until 2 minutes in, so be patient 🙂

(this audio was also sent out for free as an MP3 file to podcast subscribers and to daily one-minute message subscribers)



3 May 2017 – BBC Radio London – presenter Eddie Nestor



I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I’m responding after listening to the interview with Belle and Tom. Belle I think you did great. The interviewer asked you some questions intended to put you on the defensive and you handled them beautifully. I think that for people that are not real boozers the idea or concept of a sober coach, somebody outside of their circle, seems … hmmm … unusual. Boozers like me need to know that I am not some sort of freak because I can’t do the controlled drinking thing. I mean what the hell is controlled drinking. I drink to get drunk. And the interviewers story line about the couple after work wanting to get the kids to bed so that they can relax with a drink? What does that even mean? Why can’t they relax without a drink? Because they want to get drunk. OK. You want to get drunk just say it. Drinking is not “relaxing” for me and I doubt it is for many of us boozers. It’s an escape from reality. An escape that usually lands you in a place you don’t want to be. Just my two cents worth.

    Tom. If you are reading this first of all congratulations putting down the drink and on your promotion. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we are not so tired and hungover in the morning. I particularly like you describing having a full day on the weekends rather than half a day. I am totally picking up what you are putting down. I am in early days of sobriety – at around 80 days. My life is better. It’s not perfect but it is better. But at work – much better. More confidence, more opportunity, more fun. We always talk about being a functioning drinking. Yeah I drink and yeah I’m hungover in the mornings but I always make it into work. Yeah you make it in to work but the real question is are you performing at your best while you are there. The answer is of course no.

  • I wish it was longer, I think she barely scratches the surface. The point is that when any amount of alcohol is affecting your self esteem or getting in the way of being your best self, it’s time to stop. In this age, we shop online at 1 am. We can also email our sober coach at 1 am. The AA method is too time restrictive. And it can have Wolfe saying “you don’t have time to go to a meeting every day. Your family needs you home to make dinner. And you can have wine while you cook.” Thank oh Belle for all you do. I can never ever repay you for giving me my life back!

  • The 3 of you were fantastic- really well done! What I loved is that you signposted, easily accessible, routes that anyone with worries re. drinking can explore in their own time and way. That’s a powerful thing.

    My question for Emma is this:

    What are you so afraid of – why the need to push these people into a box labelled ‘other’ only to be helped by experts? Why does it suit you better to signpost anyone with concerns about their drinking to AA or the NHS ? Are all of the 1 million people who end up treated in the NHS each year for booze related problems alcoholics? If so, could alcohol and not the individual be the cause?

    What Emma needs to know is this:

    AA isn’t coaching by experts either.

    It’s rooted in religious doctrine, that many will find excludes them.

    As booze is so embedded in our society, it stands to reason that most people will want to access a range of tools once they decide to go AF.

    Well done again – sorry to go on but that did rather rattle my cage. ?