Former BBC producer opens up about drug abuse in media

      A former BBC producer has opened up on the use of drugs in the media industry, especially by television and radio stars. Sarah Graham, who worked for BBC Radio 5, Children's BBC and Channel 4's The Big Breakfast, told Home Affairs Select Committee hearing on the cocaine trade that the people in the industry who do drugs are often praised for their "off-the-wall" brilliance instead of being reprimanded. The woman who went to a rehab clinic in 2001 after getting addicted to drugs said that she was offered cocaine on the first day of her job at the BBC in the 1990s, after passing out from college. She claimed that she was offered the drug during a night out in SoHo with the presenter and producer of her show. She said: "We were celebrating the end of a live show. I had a few glasses of champagne and I was asked if I would like to go to the toilet and do some cocaine. "I'm ashamed to say I didn't really know very much about cocaine beyond the hype - celebrity, glamour, success - that goes with it and I unfortunately went to the toilet and took cocaine and I believe that changed the course of my life from that point on." Sarah also answered the question if any of her colleagues who did drugs still worked at BBC. However, she did not give any names, reports the Telegraph. She said: "One of the things about the media... is that, as your addiction progresses, certain behaviours which would not be tolerated in a normal job can actually be spun to be part of your creative genius or part of your extraordinary personality. "So some of those people are still in place, some of them are behaving in off-the-wall ways and are enabled left, right and centre, and people bow down to them. Some of this stuff is rewarded - it depends where you are and who you are. "There is a culture within the media and within the celebrity world that is very relaxed around the use of cocaine. It's seen as something that is socially acceptable in certain areas, in industries where this 'work hard, party hard' ethos exists. "The hype about drugs is that all these successful people are doing drugs... I bought into the showbiz myth of cocaine being part of that success." Troubled singer Amy Winehouse's father Mitch was also present at the conference.

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