BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 12:42 GMT
Newsnight alcohol special

As part of Boozenight, we'll be revisiting some of the people who featured in Paul Watson's award-winning documentary, Rain In My Heart, which aired last year on BBC TWO.

Paul Watson filming
Paul spent several months filming four alcoholics as they underwent treatment for their addiction, battling the demons that drove them to drink. Not all of them made it.

On Thursday, in a special follow-up film for Newsnight, Paul revisits two of the alcoholics from the film, plus the widow of one of those who died during filming.

You can watch a short reminder of their stories via the links below.

Boozenight is on Thursday, 13 December, at 10.30pm on BBC TWO


About the same age as Vanda, Kath has spent more than a decade caring for an alcoholic. She was also married to him.

Nigel, Kath's late husband

Nigel had been dry for 10 years - he kicked the booze after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. But the damage caught up with him several years later and by the time he is seen in the film, he has been seriously ill for two years. A liver transplant would be the only way to keep him alive, but as an alcoholic - albeit a dry one - he comes low on the list.

Nigel died during the course of filming Rain in my Heart, leaving Kath and two teenage children. Kath now struggles on a severely limited income.


"I'm 43, I look about 63."


Brought up in a military family, Vanda's childhood was spent on army camps. She took her first drink when she was 12, but by then she'd already been sexually abused by her father for several years.

By the time she married at 18 she was a serious drinker - the marriage didn't last, nor did a succession of jobs despite her being able to speak at least two other languages.

In Rain in my Heart she is living in a council flat. The veins in her legs have contracted because of alcohol, making walking difficult. About 20 different medications are washed down with pints of vodka and cordial.


Half a bottle of vodka on the train to work at the age of 17 began Mark's journey into alcoholism.


By the end of his teens he was married with a daughter - but his wife couldn't control his drinking and the marriage collapsed.

Twenty-nine when he appeared in Rain in my Heart, Mark was living on his own in an untidy flat that closely reflected his own state. He'd been self-harming repeatedly and been in and out of a psychiatric ward.

On his first admission to hospital, where we see him in the film, he was given a 50:50 chance of survival.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific