The Thinking Drinkers raise a glass at Funny in Falkirk

The Thinking Drinkers perform at Behind the Wall on July 28 as part of the 2014 Funny in Falkirk festival. Picture: Steve Ullathorne
The Thinking Drinkers perform at Behind the Wall on July 28 as part of the 2014 Funny in Falkirk festival. Picture: Steve Ullathorne
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Scotland is renowned as a nation that enjoys a drink - but not for the discerning habits of its drinkers.

It’s a similar story across the UK and one that provides fertile ground for humour, according to comedy duo The Thinking Drinkers.

Funny in Falkirk

Funny in Falkirk

They’ll be raising a glass at Behind the Wall on Monday, July 28, as part of the fifth Funny in Falkirk festival.

The Thinking Drinkers are Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham, whose motto is ‘Drink less, Drink better’.

Their new show, ‘The Legends of Liquor’, is an entertaining look at some of the more famous individuals who have professed a fondness for an aperitif or two - and felt all the better for it.

“Many people drink, but not many people think about what’s in their glass and where it came from,” said McFarland. “The people we talk about in the show are not the ones who did bad things when drunk or abused alcohol in general, there’s nothing funny about that.

“We look at artists, philosophers and many others who enjoyed a drink, found inspiration from it, and have amusing stories to tell. It’s a broad spectrum.”

Ben and Tom know what they are talking about, having first met while writing for a pub trade magazine in 2000 and going on to write a guide together on the explosion of microbrewing in the west coast of America - their first of several books - as well as penning a regular drinks column for the Daily Telegraph.

It was while delivering talks at food shows they realised they could tweak their act to appeal to a wider audience.

“We don’t try to be too serious,” added McFarland. “Some of the talks at these shows could be quite pompous, but we wanted to be informative and entertaining at the same time.

“We took the show to the Edinburgh Fringe and it did very well - although I don’t mind telling you that stepping on stage at the Pleasance for the first time was terrifying.”

McFarland explained that one example of a famous individual with a surprising appreciation of alcohol - although he’s not mentioned in the show - was Ernest Shackleton.

“His childhood was associated with the temperance movement, but when he became an adventurer he quickly realised the benefit a drink could have on his men’s morale,” he said. “Especially when he had 15 men living together in a hut with little else to do.

“So when he went to the Antarctic he shipped a ton of booze with him.”

To buy tickets, and for the full line-up of this year’s comedy festival, visit or The Steeple box office in Falkirk High Street.

The Falkirk Herald has one pair of tickets to give away to The Thinking Drinkers’ Guide to The Legends of Liquor at Behind the Wall on July 28. To win, simply answer this question: in what country is cognac produced? Send your answer, along with your name, address and daytime contact number, to by noon on Tuesday. Usual Falkirk Herald terms and conditions apply.