Keith Allen insists he only does cocaine now ‘for the right reasons’

Keith Allen has recalled some, dare we say, wild memories (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for D’Stassi Art)

After his daughter Lily Allen previous claimed he had a ‘cocaine-induced heart attack’, actor Keith Allen has insisted he only takes the drug these days ‘for the right reasons’.

This is the part in which we put on our responsible hat and insist there is no ‘right reason’ to take cocaine. But we’ll hand it back over to Keith, now, to tell his part.

The 68-year-old actor, who’s starring in a new musical, Rehab, lives a quieter life these days compared to what may be described as a hell-raising heydey, but admitted he hasn’t quite given up on all aspects of a hedonistic lifestyle.

When asked if he still takes cocaine, Keith remarked this week: ‘Not so you’d notice. If I do it nowadays, it’s for the right reasons.’

When asked what ‘the right reasons’ are, he explained: ‘Well, why not? As you get older, time rushes past. A hangover can cost you a day. It’s not worth it.’

Keith recalled snorting his first line in the late 1980s when he was pitching a script to UB40, claiming he was horrified when lead singer Ali Campbell allegedly took a large amount.

Keith Allen on Loose Women.
Don’t let the disguise fool you, he lives a quieter life these days (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Keith Allen Indroducing Joe Strummer Glastonbury 1999
Keith, here at Glastonbury in 1999, previously denied daughter Lily Allen’s claim he had a ‘cocaine-induced heart attack’ at the festival one year (Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

He told the Guardian: ‘I’d never done coke before. I remember thinking, “F**k, that’s expensive.” I cut these lines out, then Ali Campbell snorted the lot and I panicked: “I’ll phone an ambulance!” He said, “What you on about?”‘

Speaking about his wild days, he shared his belief that era cost him a lot of professional opportunities and when asked if he looks back with fondness, he replied ‘in career terms’ it probably wasn’t worth it.

His daughter Lily previously called Keith a ‘self-saboteur’ who ‘couldn’t channel his comedic gifts into a career’ and he agreed, saying he ‘wasted a lot of years’, but noted ‘you could also say I had a f**** great time. I was in at the beginning for a lot of things…’

Keith Allen and Lily Allen.
Lily remarked she may have got some elements in her 2018 memoir wrong (Picture: Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

In her 2018 memoir My Thoughts Exactly, she claimed he suffered a ‘cocaine-induced heart attack’ one year at Glastonbury when she was 13.

The singer and actress’ book was filled with many a recount and tale from her life, some of which she admitted she may have got wrong in hindsight, with Lily later revealing her father, comedian Keith Allen, read that particular excerpt and he denied it was so, claiming he instead suffered ‘acute food poisoning.’

In an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, when she was asked whether the book had stirred up any issues, the mum-of-two confessed: ‘I got quite a cross text from him [my dad] this weekend. There was a big piece [in the press] and he texted me.

‘He texted me, “Err cocaine induced heart attack at Glastonbury. Wow.” And I said, “Sorry that’s what I thought…”


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‘I said, “I’m really sorry if I got that wrong but that’s how I remembered it and you never explained it to me in any other way so that’s what I wrote” and he said, “Well that’s not true.”

‘And I said, “I’m really, really sorry if I got that wrong, what was it?” And he said, “Acute food poisoning.’”

Worried about drugs?

Frank offers confidential advice about drugs and addiction (email, message 82111 or call 0300 123 6600) or the NHS has information about getting help.

Adfam has local groups for families affected by drugs and alcohol and DrugFam offers phone and email support to people affected by other people’s drug or alcohol misuse.

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