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Inside Escape To The Country star's drink and drugs battle - 'I was pretty unhappy'

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Escape To The Country presenter, Alistair Appleton, has spoken out candidly about how he craved a different type of escape during his early days on TV, as he battled with drink and drugs outside of work.

The presenter and psychotherapist, who returns to his role on BBC One on Friday, 7 June, first started presenting the show in 2007.

Despite being a much-loved TV personality, the 54-year old admitted in an interview in 2019 that he was: “pretty unhappy” in his early 30s.

He elaborated on his mental health struggles behind the camera on his blog,, saying: “I was drinking a lot, doing a lot of drugs, going out a lot.” In one blog post from 2019, Alistair said: “I realised how fossilised and dead-souled I’d become in my 20s.” In another post he said: “You know, in my 20s all I wanted to be was a famous TV presenter, and by the time I turned 30 I was already seeing that was a very dangerous path for me because I knew that it would just mean more anxiety, more laying value on external looks.” Alistair always had a passion for meditation and retrained as a psychotherapist to better understand burnout, and to help other people experiencing anxiety from their lives.

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