Chris Tarrant admits he began TV career drinking at 10am to boost performance

Chris Tarrant has written about the drinking culture of his early TV career. (Getty Images)
Chris Tarrant has written about the drinking culture of his early TV career. (Getty Images)

Chris Tarrant has confessed he began his TV career drinking alcohol throughout the day to aid his performance on air.

The 75-year-old former Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? host started out on current affairs programme ATV Today in the 60s and has revealed in his memoir he would drink 'livener' pints at 10.30am.

Tarrant wrote in his new book It's Not a Proper Job: "On the day I began, I met a lovely guy called John Swallow. His idea of showing me the ropes was to go to The Crown pub. It was just after half 10 and my new boss was pouring pints down my neck.

Read more: Chris Tarrant's grandson duped by Michael Sheen in Quiz

"This became the normal pattern for most of the next 10 years. We would take what we always referred to as the 'livener', then start our day."

Chris Tarrant and Jane Bird arrive at Reading Magistrates' Court, where he is appearing charged with drink driving.
Chris Tarrant pleaded guilty to drink driving in 2018. (PA)

Watch: Harry Redknapp makes TV history in unfortunate Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? blunder

He added: "We would almost certainly have a couple more at lunchtime and then there was the Green Room – open during transmission."

The TV presenter rose to fame in the 70s starring in children's TV show Tiswas.

Tarrant received a 12 month driving ban and £6,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to drink-driving in 2018.

The radio DJ was breathalysed after a pub lunch in Berkshire and was found to have 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

He said afterwards: “I made a mistake and I paid for it. I shouldn’t have driven. Full stop."

Chris Tarrant talks to the media as he leaves his home in Esher, Surrey.
Chris Tarrant said he used to do everything to excess. (PA)

Tarrant suffered a mini-stroke on a flight from Bangkok to London in 2014.

He revealed afterwards he had changed his lifestyle in a bid to be more healthy, including cutting down on his drinking habits.

He said: "I still eat meat but I don't drink whisky at all - I used to drink a lot. My consultant said, 'Excess, excess, excess.' I did everything too hard.

Read more: Chris Tarrant overhauls lifestyle as children fear second stroke

"A really good mate bought me a bottle of vintage whisky! What a stupid thing to do! I associate whisky with death now, with falling over."