Frenchman, former Millennium Dome supremo and giant of the UK leisure industry PY Gerbeau examines our cultural obsession with drinking to excess and tries to find solutions to the problem.
The French businessman first came to prominence in 2000 when PY was brought in by the government to run the troubled Millennium Dome.
A huge fan of Britain then and now, he is still puzzled by one national trait - the habit of binge drinking.
PY remembers the shock of his first encounter with the British weakness for excessive boozing.
Shortly after arriving in London he came across a group of teenagers reeling about in the street surrounded by dozens of empty bottles.
He soon discovered that drinking to excess is commonplace in towns and cities across the UK.
It came as a double shock for Gerbeau because, despite his Gallic roots, PY himself rarely drinks, preferring to limit his own alcohol consumption to the occasional glass of dessert wine or champagne.
But now the issue of binge drinking is very much on PY's own doorstep.
The Frenchman heads X-Leisure, the largest leisure owner in the UK.
Every Friday and Saturday night, thousands of people visit bars and restaurants at operators inside his entertainment complexes.
His team has worked closely with tenants to limit alcohol promotions, trying to achieve a best code of practice, but PY admits they have had limited success.
He now has broader concerns about the regulation of alcohol use and says: 'It's time for a prise de conscience - an awakening.
The government has proved the case for tobacco, but the same needs to be done for binge drinking'.