Chris Smith at TNT Radio after Sky News Christmas party disgrace and vows not to drink alcohol

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Broadcaster Chris Smith will make a miraculous return to the airwaves, two months after his drunken behaviour at a work function looked to have ended his career.

Smith has been thrown a lifeline by international digital talk station TNT Radio where he will present an afternoon program five days a week from Monday. 

The 60-year-old, who has a history of booze-fuelled misconduct, has not touched a drop of alcohol for 75 days and has vowed never to drink again. 

Smith was sacked by 2GB and Sky News Australia after he outraged several women with his conduct after the TV network’s Christmas party. 

He made lewd comments which brought a female colleagues to tears at the shindig, and touched another on the bottom. 

Chris Smith at TNT Radio after Sky News Christmas party disgrace and vows not to drink alcohol

Broadcaster Chris Smith will make a miraculous return to the airwaves, two months after his drunken behaviour at a work function looked to have ended his career. He has vowed to never drink alcohol again. His wife Susie Burrell has stood by him

Smith was sacked by Sky News Australia and radio station 2GB due to his offensive conduct after a Sky News Christmas party on December 10. Smith has been thrown a lifeline by digital talk station TNT Radio where he will present an afternoon program five days a week

Smith was sacked by Sky News Australia and radio station 2GB due to his offensive conduct after a Sky News Christmas party on December 10. Smith has been thrown a lifeline by digital talk station TNT Radio where he will present an afternoon program five days a week

Smith told Daily Mail Australia after spending time in rehab and consulting with psychiatrists and psychologists he had realised he was incapable of drinking responsibly.

‘In previous times where I’ve stuffed up binge drinking I never had the guts nor probably the guidance to be able to give up drinking,’ he said. 

‘I never had the advice, I’d never had the guts to do what I should have done which was to give it up completely.

‘I’ve never given up more than three weeks. I could never do it. I thought I could control it, as I thought I could control it in December, but I can’t.’

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Asked if he would ever drink again Smith said, ‘Never, ever.’

‘I don’t need it. I’m angry with it. It’s not just the big incidents that have occurred in my life. It’s also the reliance on alcohol on almost daily basis which I’ve also had.

‘It negatively impacts my family, my wife, my kids. I don’t need that anymore.’

Smith said he had learnt he could not mix alcohol with the medication he took for bipolar disorder, which caused him to black out.  

‘If I drink more than five hours I hit this black wall. I now know it’s due to the medication that I take. You black out. I never knew that.

Smith told Daily Mail Australia he had spent time in rehab and after consulting with psychiatrists and psychologists had realised he was incapable of drinking responsibly. He is pictured on December 8 at News co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch's harbourside mansion

Smith told Daily Mail Australia he had spent time in rehab and after consulting with psychiatrists and psychologists had realised he was incapable of drinking responsibly. He is pictured on December 8 at News co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch’s harbourside mansion

‘I always thought grog mitigated the medication I took for bipolar but it made you black out.’

Smith described those said those black outs as ‘that wild card prospect’ and said problematic drinking had been ‘the bane of my life’.

‘I’ve removed the wild card prospect of behaving like an adolescent,’ he said. ‘I’ve taken that out of my life and I should have done it more than a decade ago.

‘It’s a great relief for me and it’s a great start to hopefully another stage of a career without drama.’ 

The Chris Smith Show will air on tntradio.live from 3pm to 5pm from Monday to Friday and will concentrate on international affairs in its first hour. 

The next hour will have a more local focus and Smith will be able to take callers from around the world. 

‘It’s awfully lucky,’ Smith said. ‘It’s a great life buoy for me and I intend to grab it with both hands. I don’t think I’ve ever been more appreciate of a job in my life.’ 

Smith said TNT Radio CEO Mike Ryan had asked him what he had been doing since December before giving him a job.

He told Ryan about his rehabilitation efforts which included weekly AA meetings to avoid any further ‘self-sabotage’. 

Chris Smith’s three days on the drink

Thursday, December 8: Smith attends Lachlan Murdoch’s evening Christmas drinks at his Bellevue Hill mansion

Friday, December 9: Smith attends a Sky News dinner for hosts and station management at Aria restaurant at Circular Quay (7pm-11pm)

Saturday, December 10: Smith attends Sky News Christmas party at Ivy Sunroom in the CBD. Function runs midday to 5pm. Continues nearby at Establishment and leaves 7.30pm 

‘He was happy with all of that and knew my work,’ Smith said. ‘And very happy to have me on board,’ Smith said. 

‘I feel as if I’m on a really positive trajectory now and I don’t feel as if I’m a danger to myself or a danger to anyone else.’

Smith said his nutritionist wife Susie Burrell had supported him throughout his ongoing recovery and was delighted with his new job. 

‘She has been an absolute tower of strength,’ he said. ‘She’s been fantastic.

‘She’s glad that I’ve got this Monday to Friday job for the first time in many years and she’s also glad that she’s got a sober husband.’

Before his sacking Smith was about to be given his own daily 5pm show on Sky News before he was sacked, with that role being given to Sharri Markson.

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Smith was previously suspended by 2GB for allegedly harassing four women at the radio station’s 2009 Christmas party.

He had had previously been demoted at Nine Network’s A Current Affair after allegedly exposing himself at a farewell party in the late 1990s. 

After the 2GB soiree Smith admitted to having been drunk on champagne and red wine and said he had also taken the ‘the wrong antidepressants’.

He was soon back at 2GB where until December he had been a weekend presenter as well as regular fill-in announcer.

Smith, who had hosted a Sunday night show on Sky, checked himself into a mental health facility in December and apologised for his behaviour.

‘I am beyond gutted and devastated to know I have upset my colleagues after our Christmas party,’ he said at the time.

‘I apologise profusely to the women I upset. That’s not the man I am at work, ever, as they will all attest. They have been so supportive to me and do not deserve such drunken treatment.’

Smith blamed the events on bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction, saying ‘I have a recurring problem with alcohol… it sends me manic’.

He had joined colleagues at Sky News’s end of year celebrations at Ivy Sunroom in Sydney’s central business district which began about about 12pm on December 10.

When that formal event concluded in the afternoon, a group including Smith moved nearby to Establishment.

It is there Smith was accused of touching a young female co-worker, making lewd comments and acting inappropriately towards several other female colleagues.

Several of Smith’s former colleagues at SKY and 2GB attacked him when his conduct became public knowledge. 

Ray Hadley was on holidays but called into 2GB to state, ‘I don’t think [Smith] should ever return to a network.’        

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