NI’s Radio 1 star Dean McCullough on being teetotal following ‘darkish’ ingesting days: ‘It’s been the very best two years of my life’

BBC Radio 1 star Dean McCullough has opened up on how he gave up ingesting, after alcohol left him in a “actually, actually darkish place” just some months earlier than he obtained his massive break on the iconic station.

he Newtownabbey native has not too long ago taken over Radio 1’s coveted afternoon slot with co-host, Bolton-born Vicky Hawkesworth. 

The present was beforehand introduced by Scott Mills for almost 20 years, and Dean mentioned: “I assumed, if I wish to get to Radio 1, which was all the time my dream, if I wish to try this, I have to make some adjustments.”

The 29-year-old DJ informed i information that through the Covid-19 lockdowns, his binge ingesting had obtained uncontrolled and his psychological well being had been severely affected. 

“What was like a glass of wine of a night after work became a bottle which became two bottles after which, some weekends, I used to be ingesting like a bottle of vodka too.

“It wasn’t till I used to be going to work on a Monday and I used to be wanting on the bins and I used to be like, ‘I didn’t drink all that?’

“However I had, as a result of there was nobody else in the home. It was the pandemic, and I simply obtained myself into a nasty means and I used to be kind of considering some actually, actually darkish ideas to myself. Anyone who’s form of struggled with psychological well being will know what it’s like.

He added: “I didn’t plan it. I didn’t assume: ‘That is my final drink. That is my final social gathering.’ I actually wakened on the primary of September and I turned to my mate and mentioned: ‘That is it, like I’m going to cease ingesting for a month. Simply to see what occurs.’ There was no actual pivotal second. It wasn’t a extremely horrendous hangover. I didn’t undergo a break-up.

“I simply noticed the trail in entrance of me and it wasn’t good. It was actually darkish and it was very damaging.”

4 weeks later, an advert appeared for lesser-known DJs to take over the BBC Radio 1 schedule over Christmas – a possibility that has modified the Co Antrim man’s life. 

“It has been two years,” he continued.

“And it has been two of the very best years of my life. My life has by no means been higher, and the actual fact we now have this new present is annoying sufficient anyway, with out me having a hangover.

“I really feel prefer it’s actually thrilling, as a result of nobody at Radio 1 is aware of me something aside from sober and meaning lots, as a result of they’re seeing this model of me and so they’re appreciating this model of me.”

Final winter, Dean additionally opened up about his hell by the hands of homophobic bullies, and mentioned he had turned to alcohol to numb the ache of being tormented for being homosexual.

He has additional shared his appreciation for social media, because it permits him to attach with listeners in a extra private means, particularly native folks with accents just like his, and people who have additionally grown up homosexual in Northern Eire. 

“I don’t like this notion that folks assume that the BBC is simply from London, and it’s simply individuals who work and reside in London, from a selected class. Vicky and I are proof of that,” he mentioned.

“The colors of their pores and skin, the way in which that they appear, the way in which that they determine, the way in which that they communicate – it’s actually, actually necessary as a result of you must see your self mirrored in what’s in entrance of you with a view to really feel like you’re valued.”

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