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World News

Street Angel founder sees 'opportunity' for Christians as study shows youth are 'bombarded' with alcohol on TV

by Sophie Drew

A new study has found that out of the 20 most popular TV shows aimed at young people, 98 per cent of scenes contain alcohol and drinking. 

The report, published by Nottingham Trent University, names shows like Made in Chelsea and Love Island. 

Despite concerns that young people could be being "bombarded" by scenes containing alcohol - and occasionally misuse - Paul Blakey, Founder of Christian Nightlife Initiative Network and 
Street Angels, says this has been going on much longer than many might realise:  

He said: "TV programmes have often focused a lot of the programming around pubs. If you think of some of the soap operas, you've got Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, - they all feature the pub as a central point. 

"Within society as well, pubs are an essential place for people to hang out. It's where people do community. So, in that sense, they're great. 

"But, of course, there's always the other side. It is attracting people into alcohol - consuming lots of alcohol - and that whole culture that goes with it."

Reality television shows have been the catalyst for hundreds of influencers to find fame and notoriety. Even a short appearance can generate thousands of Instagram followers and hefty PR deals - particularly for the more controversial or outspoken cast members. 

Paul continues: "I think there's a massive opportunity involved for Christians within that whole influencing culture, to perhaps step up and showcase a different lifestyle, and different lifestyle choices that can be made.

"I think there is certainly an opportunity for Christians to step up into that role.

"But obviously, you do get the other side where influencers drink copious amounts of alcohol, sleeping around, doing drugs, and that kind of becomes normal. 

"So we perhaps need to be guarded and praying around that whole culture - that actually we do influence people for healthy, good, sound lifestyle choices."

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