Sleb Safari: Christopher Maloney and the case of the crispy duck pancake
THIS week we're sending a bottle of Lucozade, bunch of grapes and best wishes to 2012 X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney, who's slowly recovering from near death at the hands of a crispy duck pancake.
Christopher – panto star and owner of a theatre and arts academy in Merseyside no less – ate some dodgy duck and ended up with a parasite setting up camp in his colon and a case of E.coli. He doesn't recommend it.
"I honestly nearly died, my organs were shutting down," he told the Daily Mirror in an exclusive interview.
Our story begins with Christopher ordering takeaway on St Stephen's Day.
"I had fever, I had hallucinations and I couldn't sleep because I was constantly going to the toilet and vomiting, it was just horrendous. I stayed awake and went to panto and they looked at me and said, 'Oh God', but I said I'd get through."
He battled through 10 more panto appearances plus a New Year's Eve concert.
"I managed to do the shows but I had jelly legs. The audience didn't know but I didn't want to let the people down who had bought tickets. Throughout those 10 shows I was just eating pineapple and sipping water because I literally couldn't keep anything down. Even that was going right through me, it was terrible."
As night follows day, Christopher collapsed at home on New Year's Day and his mum rang an ambulance. He spent two weeks in hospital enjoying "CT scans and abdominal X-rays, I've had colonoscopies".
Campylobacter E.coli was detected, he explained.
"It's that bad that a parasite embedded itself into my large intestine and it's given me colitis of the colon and colitis of the large intestine which means that it's never going to go away, it's a lifelong condition that needs to be monitored for the rest of my life."
Not the best start to the new year.
Christopher is now a man on a mission, raising awareness about the importance of checking the scores on the doors of takeaways. Sleb Safari's rule of thumb is four stars and above. Christopher chose to source his crispy duck pancakes from an establishment which "only had one star, or even half a star".
"The point is, you have to read the reviews because you think you're just ordering your favourite food, but really it can kill you." Well, quite.
It's not the first time Christopher has had a health scare. He once went into anaphylactic shock after suffering an extreme reaction to a spider's bite while holidaying in Turkey and he's also been involved in a number of car crashes. Christopher is basically a cat with nine lives. A cat that won't touch another crispy duck pancake for as long as it lives, but a cat nonetheless.
Hopefully, he won't have to use up any more of those lives. It feels like the universe has had its fun and needs to cut him some slack now.
Get well soon Christopher, Panto Land needs you.
Paris Hilton cooks, kind of
AND so to heiress and in-on-the-joke airhead Paris Hilton who has a new cookery show on YouTube called Cooking With Paris. In it, Paris attempts to make lasagne in the manner of someone beamed down to earth. In shot, she wears fingerless gloves in the kitchen and declares that spoons are "brutal". It's an interesting take on cutlery. Most people would say knives are worse, but then Paris has never been 'most people'.
High Five Pamela Anderson
THIS week's hat tip goes to Pamela Anderson for her relentless optimism. Pamela got married for the fifth time last week to husband number four. Others would have knocked the whole marriage thing on the head several divorces ago but not Pamela, and
Sleb Safari applauds that optimism. High five, Pamela Anderson.
Rob Delaney literally skies cross country
SLEB Safari thought its dear friend Aisling had struck comedy gold when, on a ski trip a couple of years ago, she got separated from her group, skied down a slope into a completely different resort and had to get a taxi back. It turns out Rob Delaney can top that. He went snowboarding for the weekend in Poland "and got lost on the mountain in low cloud".
"I found a boulder with an 'S' written on it, which was confusing," he told The Times.
"Eventually a guy emerged from the mist, so I asked him where I was. 'Slovakia,' came the reply. Whoops. Somehow I managed to find a ski lift back home."
Rob 1, Aisling 0.5