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We lost friends by giving up drink, reveal reality tv stars

The stars of RTE's new reality show, Stone Cold Sober, have revealed that abstaining from alcohol during the show's filming caused a rift in their group of friends.

Brian 'Chopper' Carroll (30) admitted that although they all had a positive experience with the show, some of their friends found it difficult to cope with their change in attitude.

"Our friends who did drink became distant. There was a small split in the group. Nothing was ever said, it's just the way it happened, we weren't out every weekend and wherever we were, there were cameras everywhere.

"Every single step of the way there was a camera in your face. A lot of people didn't like the cameras, so would avoid it," he told the Herald.

However, since filming wrapped, they have managed to get their friendships back on track.

"It was nothing major and it's all been resolved now. Half of us have gone back to drinking and some of us decided not to," he said.

The group of six all hail from Tullow in Co Carlow, and the programme was the brainchild of Gerry Kelly (23).

"I think we were all just a bit bored of our old life and wanted to try something new," he said. "For the first week or two it was tough, but once we got into the groove, it was grand.

Surfing

"It's hard to get away from alcohol though, whether you're at a music festival or watching TV, there is just always someone somewhere telling you to drink.

"We were mostly frustrated with our lack of options. We took up surfing and other activities, but the big problem was at night," he said.

And both reality stars admitted that the social experiment actually resulted in three of the group continuing on the road of healthier alcohol consumption.

"I think we each got something different out of it. I really don't drink too much any more, half of us were changed by it and the other half went back to drinking.

"We would go clubbing sober just to try it out and it was fine. We even went on holiday in Ibiza, with friends of ours who do drink. We purposely went somewhere that there was alcohol 24 hours a day to really test ourselves."

Kelly, a television and media student at IT Carlow, came up with the idea two years ago after a stint abroad.

"I came back from a working holiday in New Zealand in 2007 when I thought of the concept. Then I pitched it to a production company thinking it might be a bit of craic and RTE finally commissioned it," he said.

The pair were joined by their friend Pugs and brothers Liam, Matty and Jimmy in the show.

cmcbride@herald.ie


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