Back in 2012 we chatted with the late Keith Chegwin about what really happened the day that Bobby Davro almost died on television
When the opportunity to interview late TV legend Keith Chegwin comes about, you don’t turn it down. Thus, when we heard he was available for interview for 2011 comedy horror flick Kill Keith, we jumped at the chance.
Being champions of online virals we didn’t fancy your standard chinwag. Oh no, we wanted to get Cheggers talking about that most infamous of video moments. When Bobby Davro was locked in the stocks and stumbled into the father of all faceplants, terrifying both Keith and audiences everywhere.
Alas, hearing it in all its horror, from Keith’s point of view, it becomes slightly less funny.
What really happened, according to Keith Chegwin
"It was one of the worst days of my life, the worst day of my career certainly. Bobby had asked me to go on this new show he was filming - a semi game show quiz type thingy. For the life of me I don't remember what it was called, I’m not sure anybody knows. I have been on 3,500 TV shows, I cannot be expected to remember them all.
“What I do know is that we filmed it in Manchester, Bobby was the host, the guests were me, Jim Bowen, and what’s his face… Blair! Lionel Blair. Someone had an idea to end the show by putting Bobby in these stocks. You don’t look at the safety aspects of props when you’re doing these things. In retrospect we definitely should of. God, the Manchester Studio floor was concrete! Concrete.
“Bobby’s in the stocks, we undress him, dance around him, throw a few tomatoes at his face, then suddenly there’s a gasp… Bobby’s going over. Oh God, Bobby’s going over. Both his hands were in the stocks, he couldn’t break his fall. I remember the “whomp” as he face planted into the concrete, from quite a height really. Oh my God I can’t tell you what it sounded like as he just nose dived into the floor. The sound of it, you know. That’s what you can’t appreciate from the video footage, you really heard him hit that floor.
“My first reaction was to grab hold of Bobby’s body and see what was going on. I think I shouted something, like, “Oh Bobby!” He was conscious, but delirious. Zonked out. Stunned. Someone must have called an ambulance because the paramedics seemed to get there quick and they rushed him off to hospital.
“Once Bobby had gone, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. I remember going back to The Portland Hotel where it was such a tragic scene. We all just sat there not knowing what to do as we waited for news of Bobby from the hospital. Eventually Bobby walks into the hotel bar, God, he was in a hell of a state. The left hand side of his face was really bad. He said that in the hospital the doctors told him that if he hadn’t have managed to just turn his head slightly the millisecond before impact, he would have broken his nose in a massive way. His face would have caved in.
“It was terrible. So, so terrible. God. The clip is now used at the BBC for health and safety courses, so you know, something positive came of it I guess…”