One Direction star Liam Payne reacted furiously earlier this week when it was suggested that he may have a problem with alcohol. It was widely reported across the media that 21-year-old Liam took to Twitter to defend himself and he pointed out, very emphatically, that he does not have a problem with alcohol.
Liam took to social media platform Twitter to claim that he does not drink more than any university student his age. Payne added that he should not be treated differently than any normal boy of his age.
@IQShowbiz I don't drink anymore than a uni student my age so don't treat me like I'm any different to a normal boy my age
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) March 4, 2015
A cynic might point out that many universities have something of a drinking culture, and that Liam Payne drawing comparisons between himself and hard drinking students is hardly a safe area for someone who is denying drinking too much. What are the facts though?
Liam Payne and his One Direction pals, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan, were brought together on the 2010 season of The X Factor, and since that time, they have rarely been out of the limelight or the gossip columns. Liam and his bandmates are subject to an incredible amount of pressure that is brought on by constant touring and trying to meet the demands of their fans. Liam finished a massive world tour in October 2014 and started a new 80-date world tour in February.
Liam has previously revealed that he finds the pressure of touring difficult at times, especially when he is trapped in his hotel by fans camping outside. Boredom is an issue on tour, and when you live life in a goldfish bowl, as Liam does, your every move is scrutinized. Every visit to a club or restaurant is reported, and those who believe that scandal sells are always on the lookout for a story, even when the story is that Liam Payne visited a nightclub for an hour and drank some vodka.
Liam, to some extent, has been the architect of the rumors about his drinking, as he has tweeted about drinking games and hangovers on a fairly regular basis.
Drinking games do exactly what they say
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) February 21, 2015
That said, Liam Payne is an adult and is far from alone in enjoying a drink or two when he has time to relax. Liam is not regularly photographed staggering drunkenly out of nightclubs in the small hours. It is perhaps the rarity of these occasions that make them newsworthy.
Going back to the alleged drinking culture amongst students, the Independent reports today that a number of universities in the UK are bringing in measures to combat a perceived binge drinking culture. There have been a number of deaths linked to drinking at UK universities, and yet academic studies have found that the incidence of excessive drinking amongst students is over-estimated.
BBC News reports that Professor Julian Crampton, vice chancellor of Brighton University, said he was delighted his institution was taking part in a series of schemes that tackle binge drinking and promote sensible alcohol consumption.
“Students work extremely hard to gain their qualifications and will always want time out to relax and to enjoy themselves.
“The majority of students act sensibly but anything that reinforces the message of responsible drinking is something we would encourage.”
Liam Payne, like everyone else, is entitled to have time to relax and to have a few drinks without being criticized for it. Liam is a hardworking young man, subject to pressures that most of us will never have to experience.
Liam Payne lives his life in the spotlight, perhaps he should be allowed to keep his private life private?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images ]