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My alcoholic dad used me as a human walking stick, says Vicky Pattison

HARD partying and heavy drinking is what Vicky Pattison became famous for when she first hit our screens in 2011 on Geordie Shore.

A decade on, Vicky has transformed her image, becoming a bestselling author, winning I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here…, and landing on the panel of Loose Women – but her success has come with a heavy price.

Vicky Pattison said she hated the person she became during her Geordie Shore days

Vicky Pattison said she hated the person she became during her Geordie Shore daysCredit: PA
She is determined not to go down the same dark path as her dad John

She is determined not to go down the same dark path as her dad JohnCredit: Getty

Geordie Shore painted its young stars as troublemakers and alcohol dependants when it first debuted.

And while many of its contributors, including Vicky and Charlotte Crosby, have gone on to become celebrities who have carved out successful careers in the media, it has also left them with a certain reputation.

Vicky’s five-year stint on the MTV reality series saw her gain the title as a wild party animal – drinking to excess in the pubs and clubs of Newcastle and snogging strangers.

Behind that good-time girl front, however, Vicky was dealing with a tough home life and a father who’s an alcoholic.

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She has been wondering for years whether her own relationship with booze is linked to her dad John’s problems.

And it’s this highly emotive issue that she confronts in a powerful one-off documentary this week.

“My dad has been largely removed from my life in the public eye because he’s struggled with his illness, it just didn’t feel right,” explains Vicky, in her exclusive chat with The Sun’s TV Mag.

“He’s a very poorly man and that’s part of him. I definitely wish things were different and I know he wishes he was different, too.

“He’s in a relatively strong place compared to how he’d been in more recent years, so he felt strong enough and ready to talk about his disease.”

Despite coming to terms with his illness, Vicky hasn’t always understood her dad.

Habit’s bad for health

By Carol Cooper, Sun Doctor

IT’S easy to slide into the habit of drinking too much alcohol.

But the bottom line is that excess booze is unhealthy. Alcohol affects every organ in the body.

It’s toxic to the liver. It can also damage the pancreas, the heart and the circulation.

Blood pressure can soar and the pulse can become dangerously irregular.

Over time, alcohol abuse can lead to stomach problems, as well as a higher risk of many cancers.

Heavy drinking is also linked with high blood pressure, heart muscle disease, strokes, gout, osteoporosis, depression, facial rashes, malnutrition and infertility.

It’s so important to recognise excess drinking and do something about it before there’s permanent damage.

For various reasons, alcohol abuse can run in the family. That can make a drinker more aware of problems.

Try the self-assessment tool at the website drinkaware.co.uk

She remembers parts of her childhood, including being used as a “human walking stick” for her dad after a bender, not seeming right.

“As a kid growing up, you absolutely assume that what you are exposed to is normal because you have no other point of reference – I assumed everybody spent their Saturdays and Sundays in pubs,” she admitted.

“But there are elements as an adult I feel I would prefer my child not to be exposed to, definitely.”

Vicky added that the process of making her upcoming documentary regarding alcohol abuse has allowed her to understand her dad better.

It’s also brought Vicky – who recently got engaged to her partner of three years, Ercan Ramadan – closer to her dream of becoming a mother.

“You know I’ve really put off having children for a long time because I didn’t want to make children like me, who are in some way broken,” she says with a crack in her voice.

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“I’ve felt that for a long time. For years I’ve said I wasn’t ready or wasn’t sure I wanted them.

“Since making this documentary and since meeting Ercan, I know that I’ve got so much more control than I’ve ever given myself credit for before, and I’ve got more hope now.”

Vicky Pattison: My Dad, Alcohol And Me airs on Tuesday, August 2 on Channel 4 and All 4. 

Vicky recently opened up on her father's addiction with alcohol

Vicky recently opened up on her father’s addiction with alcoholCredit: Channel 4

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