For the first time on UK Television a group of volunteers and celebrities will be shown taking ecstasy as part of a controversial new TV show.
The experiement is part of Channel 4′s Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trail, and is led by Professor David Nutt – the UK’s former chief drugs advisor.
He made headlines last year after he was sacked by the Government when he declared taking ecstasy is statistically safer than horse riding.
The 25 pill-popping guinea pigs include Lilly Allen’s dad Kieth Allen, former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Harris and a former SAS soldier.
They have all agreed to take 83mg of the drug in Hopsital conditions and subject themselves to three hours of MRI scans, with the results being discussed live on air.
Dr Harris admitted: “In order to be allowed to take part in the trial, I needed to have taken ecstasy at least once before without any ill effects. Without going over my ‘ecstasy history’, I qualified.”
Channel 4′s David Glover, who commissioned the show has defended the programme stating that he feels it won’t glamourise taking drugs: “Obviously we don’t want to be part of glamorising drug use.”
He added: “This is quite a brave and radical piece of television, which probably only Channel 4 would do. But, at the same time, the programmes will be about really rather sophisticated science.”
Professor Val Curran, drugs expert at University College London who is part of the experiment, said the main aim of the experiment was to achieve a greater understanding of the drug and how it can help people suffering from depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
She explained: “That’s a big issue at the moment with soldiers coming back from Afghanistan.”
Part one of Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial is on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight, with part two at the same time tomorrow.