Chris Tarrant's fear of flying

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

Chris Tarrant

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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