Mix and mingle without the booze, says comedian

By Andrew Koubaridis

Guy Williams says programmes like HSM offer a good opportunity for people to assess their own drinking.
Guy Williams says programmes like HSM offer a good opportunity for people to assess their own drinking.

Comedian Guy Williams is used to being the sober one at a party.

He has never drunk alcohol, except the occasional beer - and even then only to stop questions on why he wasn't - and is one of the ambassadors for Hello Sunday Morning (HSM), a programme that started last year where people give up drinking for a certain amount of time in an effort to change the ingrained binge-drinking culture.

Named in reference to the experience of waking up on Sunday morning without a hangover, HSM is a free online community that aims to help people change their relationship with alcohol for the better by giving it up for three months.

Last year, 2,000 Kiwis signed up and the number is steadily growing. Williams is one of them.

"I'm very passionate about the subject ... While I don't have a problem with drinking, I think New Zealand as a whole maybe overcooks it a little bit and programmes like Hello Sunday Morning are a fantastic opportunity to ease off a little bit and assess their own drinking."

"I don't drink at all and never have ... Occasionally I have a beer just to fit in at a party. If I can't be bothered explaining my views, then just carrying a beer around and just nursing it is pretty good strategy - I would recommend that to anyone who is taking on Hello Sunday Morning."

Williams' abstinence is mainly because of the taste of alcohol - something he doesn't like at all.

"I love non-alcohol drinks. It's really funny when people say, 'You should taste this amazing mixer, it's midori mixed with lemon mixed with ...' I say to them 'Have you tried Fanta - because that's amazing'."

His tips to anyone attempting HSM: "My advice is to have confidence and have fun.

"When you go to a party look at how slowly it starts - because people need alcohol to lubricate social situations."

- NZ Herald

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