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 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.
You can read the transcript for the first ten minutes of the programme here.