Views & Reviews Review

My breakdown, by Tony Blair’s former press secretary

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 13 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2089
  1. Deborah Cohen, features editor
  1. 1BMJ
  1. dcohen{at}

    Alastair Campbell’s frank and detailed documentary about his struggles with alcohol and depression impresses Deborah Cohen

    If there’s one thing you can say about Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former press secretary, it’s that he tells a good story. A controversial figure on the Fleet Street and Westminster circuit since starting out as an ambitious young reporter on the Daily Mirror in 1982, the workaholic Campbell was launched into a hard drinking culture, which enabled him to accrue another addiction—alcoholism.

    He has come clean about his alcoholism in the past, which he admits may have been in part to avoid pejorative headlines from his former colleagues in the press when he took his post in 10 Downing Street. If the Sun was capable of the headline “Bonkers Bruno locked up,” when the boxer Frank Bruno was sectioned under the Mental Health …

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