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By David Mercy

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Indd 61 18/11/2005 14:52:44 BERSERK IN THE ANTARCTIC overhead while the boat rocked back and forth precipitously, knocked about by the sizeable waves. The helicopter lowered a rope and the guests, only too glad, scampered up with their lives intact until Bertrand, the captain, was the only one left on board. ‘Last chance,’ they told him. ’ Bertrand looked around at his beloved boat. He thought that he could survive the storm – but he just was not sure. He took a last loving glance around and joined the others in the helicopter.

I was desperate for work and my girlfriend – even though we were in the process of breaking up – used her connections to get me a well-paying gig as a bookkeeper for a children’s game show produced by industry giant Merv Griffin and hosted by Ryan Seacrest, before he ascended to the mantle of American Idol. Feeling like a complete sell-out, I drank every night for a week, finding refuge in the bottle, going from bar to bar, until one night I hit a parked car on the way home and kept going. I didn’t drink for a while after that.

I began my long, slow crawl out of the gutter, taking soul-crushing, humiliating odd jobs in and out of the film industry to pay my way. I was desperate for work and my girlfriend – even though we were in the process of breaking up – used her connections to get me a well-paying gig as a bookkeeper for a children’s game show produced by industry giant Merv Griffin and hosted by Ryan Seacrest, before he ascended to the mantle of American Idol. Feeling like a complete sell-out, I drank every night for a week, finding refuge in the bottle, going from bar to bar, until one night I hit a parked car on the way home and kept going.

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