Louis Theroux Reveals The One Documentary Moment That Made Him Fear For His Life

And it's not what you'd think

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Louis Theroux has plunged himself into many a scary situation over the years.

Whether he's interviewing crystal meth addicts in California, serial murderers in San Quentin or Neo-Nazis in backwater towns all over the USA, the documentarian has needed a nerve of steel.

But according to a recent interview with Vice, there has been only one situation where he has feared for his life.

"Touch wood, I've largely been quite lucky. The situations that have been the most frightening tend to be off camera, because you haven't reached that trust level where you feel comfortable starting to film, or the situation has broken down to the point where you no longer feel comfortable filming. One of the most nerve-racking moments I had was doing the alcohol documentary, Drinking to Oblivion, and we were in a south London flat" said Theroux.

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Airing in 2016, 'Drinking to Oblivion' put Theroux in the path of alcoholics attempting to overcome their illness at King's College Hospital. In this particular scene, Theroux was in the park with a female sufferer when her partner confronted him.

"There was a guy that was mentally ill and another guy that seemed emotionally unstable, and we were going to shoot a sequence, and it became clear that this is not going to go well, and the mentally ill guy was going, "I'm not having that fucking camera anywhere near me," so I said, "It's fine, mate, we'll just quietly go," then one of them put their arm around my neck as though to throttle me, and the other one said, "Oi, if anyone's going to do him then it's going to be me," and I remember just thinking, 'Wow, he's going to snap my neck.' He was ex-Army, too, which suggests that he might actually know how to do that. I don't remember how we got out of there, and not a frame of film was shot. I got out and thought, 'That was ridiculous.' It's one thing to be on location in the West Bank or Lagos and to feel nervous, but the idea that I was going to meet my dreary demise in a social housing estate in south London, close to where I grew up, just felt all wrong."

Theroux went on to reveal another subject that he had planned to explore with his work. If it comes to fruition, it might just have usurped 'Drinking to Oblivion' as his scariest doc.

"I would have been very curious to see what was going on in the Islamic State. I find religious extremism really bizarre, but also fascinating. But, I think it was mainly fear that prevented me going over there. I've seen too much about journalists being taken hostage and being beheaded, so I steered clear of that one," he said.