For an actor, there are no rehearsals on the road to sobriety
When Brendan Coyle - famous as Mr Bates in 'Downton Abbey' and an accomplished Irish actor in a range of roles - was all over the tabloids the other day for a drink-driving offence, many of us recovering alcoholics will have thought: "There but for fortune go I."
How grateful I am that I didn't drive a car during my drinking years. I would have done exactly what Brendan (original name, 'David') Coyle did: Booze mightily on a long overseas flight, then get straight into the vehicle, with that misplaced self-assurance that liquor bestows, and try to drive home.
When the Old Bill flagged him down in his BMW convertible last month between a London airport and his Norfolk home, he was three times over the limit.