Chris Tarrant faced death in helicopter

Chris Tarrant has revealed he is “fit as a fiddle” after having a mini-stroke last year, but admits he faced death while filming Extreme Railway Journeys for Channel 5.

"We were up in a helicopter over the Canadian Rockies. I’m not very good with helicopters and there I am with a handful of dynamite sticks to light and throw out of the window," he told reporters.

“They basically blow up certain spots of snow to prevent avalanches from wiping out trains and killing people. When we took off it was a clear morning, but out of nowhere a huge snow storm erupted and we’re flying over jagged mountain peaks with no radar. The engine then starts making a siren noise, which means we’re going down too fast!”

Chris added: “After what felt like an hour, but was actually about two minutes, the snow cleared and we landed to a crowd giving us high fives. I don’t know why we did it – it was almost like a silly boy’s adventure.”

The 69-year-old TV presenter is back at work after suffering a mini-stroke while flying from Bangkok to London last March.

Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant (Lauren Hurley/PA)


“I feel as fit as a fiddle; I’m one of the lucky ones as my voice, body and legs are all working 100 per cent,” he said.

“I think I just got into the best hospital possible in the shortest time. I was so well looked after and I am hugely grateful.”

Chris said the stroke had made him re-evaluate his priorities.

Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant (Jon Furniss/Invision)


“I’m not working as hard as I used to, but I have a real sense of ‘seize the day’,” he said.

“I’ve charged around like a lunatic my whole life, and suddenly I’ve realised if I want to enjoy my time a bit more I need to calm down and take a step back.”

Chris Tarrant presents Extreme Railways

Chris Tarrant presents Extreme Railways (Channel 5)

Channel 5's Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys can be seen at 9pm on Thursday



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