After one too many regrets, Dave Hughes took his last sip of alcohol in 1992 at the age of 21.
And almost three decades later, the 49-year-old comedian has revealed that his decision to lead a sober life was a ‘real light bulb moment’.
While he doesn’t feel burdened by his past, he told Daily Mail Australia that a simple philosophy has ensured he’s never been tempted to drink again.
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EXCLUSIVE: Comedian Dave Hughes has revealed the one fear that keeps him sober after 27 years – but says he won’t forbid his children to drink alcohol when they’re older
Dave said that his uncertainly over how his mind and body will react to alcohol after 27 years of sobriety keeps him firmly on the wagon.
He recalled a conversation he’d had years ago with his wife, journalist Holly Ife, who is the mother of his three children, Tess, six, Sadie, eight, and Rafferty, 10.
‘Holly reminded me of a conversation we’d had when we’d just started going out 17 years ago,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to risk it’: Dave (pictured with his wife, Holly Ife) said that his uncertainly over how his mind and body will react to alcohol after almost three decades of sobriety keeps him firmly on the wagon
‘She apparently said to me, “What do you think would happen if you drank again, would you be a raging alcoholic?”
‘I replied that I didn’t know, possibly not. But since I’d decided not to drink, my life had got so much better that I didn’t want to risk it.’
‘It still holds true today, and that’s why I don’t drink.’
‘It’s what really turned me around’: Dave told Daily Mail Australia that quitting alcohol and marijuana in the early ’90s had made his life ‘so much better’. Pictured on May 6, 2007
Dave added that his willpower never faltered, even during the difficult early years of his recovery.
‘I was really strong,’ he said. ‘It was a real light bulb moment when I decided, “No, I’m not going to drink anymore.”
‘I honestly believe the decision to stop smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol is what really turned me around… the decision to stop doing those two things means that I’m having the happy life I’m having.
‘I really think they were the biggest and the best decisions I have ever made.’
‘It makes me feel like I’m back hanging out with the boys drinking larger, but without any of the bad side effects’: In 2018, Dave had his first beer in 25 years; a non-alcoholic Asahi Dry-Zero
Troubled past: The stand-up comic has previously spoken about how drinking had effected his mental health in his youth, including experiencing depression (Pictured: Dave on Hey! Hey! It’s Saturday in 1998)
In 2018, Dave had his first beer in 25 years: a non-alcoholic Asahi Dry Zero.
‘I’m very much an advocate for no-alcohol beer, it makes me feel like I’m back hanging out with the boys drinking larger, but without any of the side effects – the bad side effects,’ he said.
The stand-up comic has previously spoken about how drinking had affected his mental health in his youth.
He experienced depression and even feared he had schizophrenia.
‘They want to hear stories’: Dave, who is very candid on his TV show Hughesy We Have A Problem, admits he’s also forthcoming about his ‘wayward younger days’ with his three children (Pictured: Son Rafferty, 10, and daughters Sadie, eight, and Tess, six)
‘Hopefully they see the example that I lead, that you can have fun without drinking’: The proud father said he wouldn’t impose a ban on drinking when his children become of age and would like them make their own decisions
Dave – who hosts Hughesy, We Have a Problem on Channel 10 – also told Daily Mail Australia his children know all about his ‘wayward younger days’.
‘They want to hear stories, including from when I was a big drinker,’ he said.
But when it comes to his kids drinking when they’re older, Dave insisted he won’t be too strict with them.
‘Hopefully they see the example that I lead – that you can have fun without drinking or without drugs. So hopefully they see that, but they’ll make their own decisions,’ he said.
‘I’m certainly not going to ban them for drinking or anything, within reason.’
Hughesy, We Have a Problem airs Monday nights from 9pm on Channel 10
He’s back! Hughesy, We Have A Problem airs Monday nights from 9pm on Channel 10