Gazza reveals Calpol addiction as he breaks down in tears and admits he was 'banned from every chemists in Newcastle'

20 April 2023, 19:53

Paul Gascoigne has battled addiction issues for decades
Paul Gascoigne has battled addiction issues for decades. Picture: Channel 4/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Paul Gascoigne has broken down in tears as he revealed his heartbreaking addiction to Calpol that saw him banned from "all the chemists' in Newcastle".

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The troubled former England football star said he started drinking the children's cough syrup because it contains a minute amount of alcohol.

Mr Gascoigne, 55, who has battled alcoholism for years after his playing career broke down, was speaking on the final episode of Channel 4 reality TV series Scared of the Dark.

"Unfortunately, I’ve got this addiction personality," he said. "I stopped going to rehab for stupid reasons you know. I was like, that’s the addict side of us so I went for Calpol.

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Mr Gascoigne added: "Calpol has 0.00001% of alcohol. And I thought well if I buy ten bottles, that’s like having nearly a pint.  I was going round chemists and saying listen, 'I didn’t wanna tell anyone but I’ve got nine kids, I need Calpol.'

Paul Gascoigne in his playing days
Paul Gascoigne in his playing days. Picture: Getty

"They were saying, 'Nine kids, what you doing with nine kids?' 

"I went 'Yeah, but don’t tell my family. It costs us a lot of money in maintenance.'

"And eventually I was barred from all the chemists I think in Newcastle!"

Scared of the Dark sees several celebrities staying in pitch darkness over eight days, while completing various tasks. Other contestants include boxer Chris Eubank, who left after the fourth episode, and the Wanted singer Max George.

Mr George spoke out in the final episode about the death of his former bandmate Tom Parker, who succumbed to brain cancer last year.

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne. Picture: Getty

And he said that Mr Gascoigne had been a good friend to him during the show.

“Gazza, I’ve made a friend for life there," Mr Parker said. "I don’t think he even knows actually how much. 

He added: "He’s helped me and Gazza was everything and way more you know, really kind. I’ve got a lot of things to sort out in my own life. 

"I can’t stop thinking about Tom and feeling all that and being in darkness isn’t nice."