My Dara O'Briain Story...

My Dara O'Briain Story...

Just because we were retelling this to some friends recently.  Here is my one (and only) Dara O'Briain story.

As anyone who follows me on will know, I'm very claustrophobic and I am a work in progress on getting on planes, trains, tubes and just generally expanding my comfort zone.

This has been enormously helped by some tappy tappy therapy with the most amazing woman which has helped with the background anxiety and, during one of the worst years of my life, actually kept me sane (which, in my opinion, is pretty damned impressive).  The other thing that has helped getting me out there is pretty strong pharma (think of it as Valium's size 22 grandmother with huge welcoming arms and pillow like bosoms).  Originally prescribed to me by my psychiatrist as a 'go get on the plane' gift - they have enabled me to do so much and, being the control freak that I am, have been used sparingly and judiciously for major comfort zone expansion.

In the early days of using the 'major fuck off' drugs as we like to call them. I would take 1 pill to get through security at the airport and then bump with an extra half if I needed it to get onto the plane.  I was only doing short flights to Nice at the time so they worked perfectly, although, because they're the 'major fuck off' pills, I'd sadly not remember much of the day.  But a small price to pay to finally get to go on holiday.

One year, we were all coming back from a week in Nice (and lovely it was too).  I took a pill on the way to the airport so was nice and relaxed when we checked in.  At which point they said that we were so early they could speed us through security and bump us to the earlier flight but we'd have to be split up.  Husband (rightly) pointed out that the three offspring could be split but the wife needed a handler and the handler was him.

I felt a moment's flutter of 'shit, we're about to get on the plane' so took another pill.  20 minutes or so later we're walking onto the plane.  One offspring is dropped off immediately at the front row, we carry on up and I look to my right and see Dara O'Briain sitting in his seat minding his own business.

I live in Chiswick, we don't even acknowledge the existence of people off the telly when we're walking down the high street... it's simply not done.

So I turn to him, point at him, smile and say:

"You're Dara O'Briain."

"Yes, yes I am."

"And you live in Chiswick*."

Looking a little less happier he confirms the accusation and husband pushes me along.  We go to sit in our seats, the other 2 offspring carry on further up the plane.

By the time the seatbelt safety sign turned off, I was absolutely off my tits on the drugs. 

"I'm just going to check on the son at the front." I said.

Husband responded very firmly with

"Ok, but DO NOT bother Dara."

"Yeah, yeah, obviously not."

Off I went and I remember very clearly checking on my son who had the window seat and he gave me the universal symbol of all good here 👍.

...and I remember nothing more.  Literally nothing.  A complete blank.

My husband remembers me returning some time later, plonking myself down in my seat, buckling in.

I turned to him and declared that

"Everything's fine with Dara."

We don't know, to this day, what it is I actually said to the poor man.

It's a shit story, I know.


*I've checked online and Dara does not keep the fact that he lives in West London a secret.



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Hey Deb. All good here! Missed a trick with the children begging for food…! They’re too old now so I think it would just look creepy!


Good story, on or off tits. He seems like a lovely men. There should be a universal airline law that ensures that one’s children are lightly sprinkled throughout a plane so other people can benefit from their charming presence (and I include babies in that). Alternatively, they can become secret weapons. On a transatlantic night flight when mine were six and seven we trained them to turn up in the galley regularly and beg endearingly for food. Worked a treat. How are you doing after your last trip?

Deb Tanner

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