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Whicker's World: People in Trouble


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"Somebody's come out of the night to help"
Alan Whicker listens to People in Trouble
Today the desperate and the wretched, the gamblers and neurotics, divorcees and alcoholics are finding salvation in the Anonymous Societies, which reach out to show them the way back. There is tragedy in this lonely world where emotional starvation drives some to self destruction, others to misery-and it is happening right among us, today: that man in the bus, the woman next door... But fellow-sufferers will help, and just a few of us are ready to listen...
(First shown on BBC-2)
"A superb example of the TV craft" Kenneth Eastaugh, Daily Mirror

Whicker's World, Tonight at 8.0
'Gentlemen, it's very nice to see you all here tonight, and as usual we won't waste very much time', says the Chairman. 'George, would you like to kick off?'
'My name is George and I am a compulsive gambler...'
The opening words of a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous - one of the anonymous societies which seek to help those in despair, not only compulsive gamblers, but also alcoholics, neurotics, divorcees, potential suicides, and drug addicts.
The formula is simple - plain commonsense and a readiness to listen; but the record of successful cure, when all else has failed, is remarkable. For the compulsive gambler or alcoholic, there is a reassuring togetherness in the company of his or her fellow-sufferers. In the atmosphere of a group confessional they reveal with unsparing honesty the details of their degradation. An emotional catharsis is provided and, in time, there can come a substitute compulsion, offering a socially acceptable kick, in helping each other back along the road to recovery.
Commonly it is the emotional starvation of loneliness that drives a man or woman towards some crutch like gambling or drink or drugs. For these People in Trouble - who may feel the stigma of the outcast or a permanent sense of inadequacy or the black mood of failure - life itself can become intolerable and misery can turn into the urge for final self-destruction. For them, the despairing at the point-of-no-return, the Rev. Chad Varah has founded the Samaritans, men and women who dedicate part of their lives to the prevention of suicide.
Tonight, then, Whicker's World takes a look at the darker side of life, at the lonely, the wretched, the desperate who may seek the final solution unless somebody's come out of the night to help.


Presenter: Alan Whicker
Producer/Director: Fred Burnley

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Whicker's World: People in Trouble

BBC One London, 4 September 1967 20.00

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