Chris Tarrant's fear of flying

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 30 January 2017
Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant developed a fear of flying after he had a mini stroke on board a flight from Bangkok to London three years ago

Chris Tarrant developed an extreme fear of flying after his on board mini stroke.

The 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' host underwent life-saving surgery three years ago after he developed a blood clot while on an 11-hour flight from Bangkok to London and, although he made a miraculous recovery with the help of rest and physio, the frightening incident has left him with a permanent phobia of travelling on planes.

Speaking to the Daily Star Sunday newspaper, he said: "The first flight I did after the stroke was a short one to Spain. It was three months after I'd come out of hospital and it was quite daunting. The first time I went into the airport I thought, 'this is quite weird'. The last time I'd been there I was being carried out on a stretcher and into an ambulance. So going back there was quite scary."

But the 70-year-old presenter managed to fight through his fear with the help of his long-term partner Jane Bird and now feels capable of flying on his own again.

He explained: "Jane said to me, 'you don't have to do it, we can turn around'. But I wanted to do it. Certainly sitting on the plane and having take-off was just strange.

"But once we were up in the air I was OK. It was about conquering the demons. It was a bit like getting back on a horse. And since then I've flown tens of thousands of miles."

The health scare also encouraged Chris to re-evaluate his life and his diet choices.

He said: "I want to be here a long time. I'm mentally strong and I feel good. But I'm not an idiot. So I've calmed down. I have cut down on work a lot. I'm good with what I eat and I don't drink whisky anymore. I used to drink a lot of it. But now I just have a few glasses of wine or some beers. And I do quite a lot of exercise. I'm just careful. I want to live a good life, I just don't go bloody mad."

"After it happened I took about six months off to recuperate and do a lot of physio. It was a bit scary at the time and I wasn't sure if I was going to carry on with work."

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