Actor Brian Cox reveals the rich and controversial past of sugar, alcohol, tobacco and opium to uncover how the commercial exploitation of these products hooked the world
Today, whisky is a source of Scottish pride; it's one of the UK's few growth industries. In this last episode, actor Brian Cox reveals how whisky was born and shaped in opposition to the British tax system, and how that history forged the character of Scotland's national drink. But as he discovers, during the 19th century, addiction became a huge social problem with Scots drinking around six million gallons every year to escape the often unbearable conditions of their urban lives. The Scots reputation for hard drinking was born, an image Scotland struggles with to this day.
Revealing the rich and controversial past of sugar, alcohol, tobacco and opium, Hollywood actor Brian Cox embarks on a thought-provoking journey to uncover how the commercial exploitation of these products hooked the rest of the world on an appetite for a good time. In this first episode, Brian wants to find out why (like millions of other Brits), he is a diabetic. Starting in Barbados, from which sugar cane fuelled a consumer revolution, Brian discovers how the British acquired a 'sweet tooth' and why today, this has led to epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity and even addiction to sugar.