A TV presenter who has just celebrated a year of sobriety has spoken of how giving up alcohol was the best decision he’d ever made.
Former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas took to social media platform Instragram to explain how “liberating” being sober was, after an addiction to alcohol had taken over his life.
The Christian broadcaster and president of Blood Cancer UK said he had battled with alcoholism for years, after slipping into it as a way of coping with fame.
The father of two, who married second wife Derrina in 2021, said he’d turned to drink as he was afraid of being dull compared to what TV viewers may expect.
Thomas has previously spoken openly about his grief over his first wife Gemma’s sudden death from acute myeloid leukaemia, a rare and aggressive form of cancer in 2017. They had been married for 12 years.
In this week’s Instragram post he explained how his drinking “took a dark turn” after Gemma’s death. He said: “I was plunged into a world of fear, pain and darkness…I could sit in the pain no longer and I turned to the booze.
“It became an expression of me. It was all or nothing. I had no off switch. This wasn’t something I was proud of, and as a Christian I felt ashamed. As the years went on, alcohol became my social mask. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. The answer – drink.”
He then cited Carl Beech, president of Christian Vision for Men, as one of the many friends who encouraged him to try sobriety after Beech switched to it himself. Thomas added that the secret of his success had been wanting to do it for himself, not others.
Thomas said he was sharing the post because he wanted to encourage others who may be struggling or who had recently taken the same step.