Funnyman Frank Skinner stunned listeners to his radio show by admitting he’d taken the packed lunch of a driver he blamed for making him late.
The millionaire comedian boasted of how he didn’t offer any money in return for the food, which had been lovingly prepared by the eastern European driver’s wife.
He then seemed to suggest the man’s heritage meant going hungry would not be a big problem for him. “He’s probably queued for vegetables in his youth,” he said.
Skinner, 58, recounted the bizarre anecdote during his Saturday morning show on Absolute Radio, which is co-hosted by Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane.
The previous day, the Room 101 presenter had been on route from his London home to Hampton Court Palace where he was due to chair a Doctor Who panel at the Radio Times Festival.
|Skinner played the character Perkins in series eight|
Skinner is a huge fan of the sci-fi show and played the character Perkins in Series Eight. He had been booked to quiz the current Time Lord Peter Capaldi, writer Steven Moffat and executive producer Brian Minchin.
But after being picked up by a driver, Skinner soon found himself gridlocked.
“We got stuck in the worst traffic you’ve seen in your entire life and I thought I’m not going to make it. I felt myself tense up. I was clenched,” he told listeners to his radio show.
Skinner went on to say that although the driver was already feeling “very, very anxious” the comedian added to the pressure by telling him “you’re the bad guy, everyone hates you” in a bid to “fire him on to find quicker routes”.
After Skinner moaned that he was hungry and “could faint” on stage at the Doctor Who event, the desperate driver offered his wealthy passenger the packed lunch his wife had made for him.
Shamelessly, Skinner said he accepted, much to the shock of his co-hosts.
“You took his lunch?” asked Dean, genuinely dismayed.
“I presume it was his dinner,” said Skinner in a joke that fell flat.
Assuming Skinner had paid for the food, Cochrane asked: “How much did you give him?”
Skinner replied: “I didn’t give him anything. Well, I thought he owed me (for being late).”
Dean gave her pithy assessment: “Okay. We were asking this morning, ‘What would Frank Skinner do?’ I think we’ve successfully answered that question.”
|There is such a thing as a free lunch - if you're Frank Skinner|
Unabashed, Skinner attempted to justify his actions saying “it just seemed the obvious thing to do” but remarked out loud “you don’t agree” when he realised he was alone in this view.
To make the story even more awkward, Skinner then described how the food he had taken off the driver had been “packaged with love”.
As he described how the driver’s wife had carefully prepared her husband’s food, Dean said: “The poignancy. I can’t bear it!”
Skinner was unmoved. He said: “It was it was lovely - and tasty!”
One listener summed up the views of many in a tweet read out on air by Dean.
She said: “We’ve had a tweet in from Mike. #WhatWouldFrankSkinnerDo? Take a hard-working man’s lunch and tell the nation how nice it was.”
Skinner dug himself in deeper.
He said: "We don’t know he’s hard working -- it took him two hours to get from my house to Hampton Court Palace!”
Dean’s sarcastic rejoinder: “I’m glad you’ve addressed the key issues.”
Skinner, floundering by this time, continued to display how out of touch he has apparently become with real life.
He said: “It made absolute sense because I had to go straight on stage. He (the driver) could wander about and find food.”
Dean again reflected the mood of listeners: “That’s a super attitude.”
After bragging about his un-Christian behaviour, Skinner, a practising Catholic, then moved on to talk about the pope, without recognising the glaring irony.
Skinner may have sated his appetite -- but the whole affair will leave a bad taste in the mouth of many of his fans!