What DID I do last night?
By Jenny Stocks
Last updated at 8:52 AM on 9th December 2010
On the television in her living room, Kate Weller is watching a drunken girl she barely recognises stumble around a crowded nightclub. Dressed in a low-cut purple dress, the girl lies back on a pool table and waves her legs in the air, inadvertently exposing herself to men nearby.
Knocking back another shot, the girl tugs down her dress, displaying her bra, and jiggles her breasts up and down. By the end of the night, she is literally crawling on the dance floor, glass of wine still in hand.
Kate isn’t remotely amused. In fact, she is wiping tears from her eyes, barely able to look at the TV set. She even walks out at one point, refusing to watch.
And for good reason. Because the girl on screen is her — filmed eight hours earlier after eight shots of spirits, nine glasses of wine, four mixers and two glasses of Champagne. She still has the fake eyelashes and *hangover to prove it.
Worse still for Kate, a 21-year-old who works in one of her father’s chain of gastro-pubs and lives with him and her mother, a nurse, in leafy Redhill, Sussex, the footage of her drunken antics, and her tearful reaction, was about to be broadcast to an audience of thousands. She had agreed to star in a controversial new *television show, What Did I Do Last Night?, on satellite channel Current TV.
The premise is simple. Each week, the camera crew follows a young woman or man on a big night out, recording every painful, embarrassing moment. Then the drinker is made to watch back the film in the cold light of the *morning after.
Kate admitted she couldn’t be bothered to get a career when she realised the early starts would get in the way of her nights out. And she *sacrificed several relationships because she refused to give up her alcohol-fuelled lifestyle.
But why? The excuse will sound familiar to any parent of a teenager.
‘Everybody does it,’ she says. ‘You don’t go to a club and stay sober. I like the social aspect, being with my friends, but I’m shy. Drinking gives me the confidence to lose my inhibitions.’
But when she watched the film of her night out, Kate realised that an unwanted side-effect was losing her *dignity, too. ‘I was devastated,’ she says shamefully. ‘I was so upset with the way I behaved. I was getting onto tables, flashing my body. I was an absolute idiot. It made me feel sick to see. I thought I was going to be sick.’
Kate was so shocked, she was prompted to change her life completely. She has only been out drinking once in the six weeks since the *programme was recorded — and then only in moderation.
Although it might be seen as just entertainment by many viewers, therapist Mike Fisher thinks the show’s *format is clearly worthwhile. Filming problem behaviour, and then playing it back, is, he says, regularly used *successfully, particularly in the treatment of aggressive children.
‘When parents film their child and play it back, often the child’s reaction is one of shock, horror, guilt and embarrassment,’ Mike explains. ‘It gives them an insight into just how scary they look and become.
‘Playing back the film to these girls in the show works because it gives them an *individual objectivity — they’re looking at themselves from the outside.
‘It is, excuse the pun, *terribly sobering.’