Andrew Neil – who is due to present a new weekly Brexit shown on BBC Two from next Wednesday – says has been recovering from a cycling crash for most of the last month. The broadcaster says that he “shattered” his rib cage after falling while descending at 30km/h but hopes to be back on his bike this weekend.
Here at road.cc we didn’t realise that Neil was a cyclist, although we see that he said he was cycling to work “for health reasons” in an interview with the Guardian in 2007.
It clearly wasn’t a new development then either because writing on Twitter this week he recounted a cycling accident he suffered in Manhattan 15 years ago.
Cycling accidents and the kindness of strangers. A short thread.
About 15 years ago I was just coming to the end of a round Manhattan bike ride when, at 80th and First, my front wheel dropped into one of Mayor Bloomberg’s cracks in the road.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) August 28, 2019
That tale was a prelude to details of his latest spill, which occurred in France.
“On August 4th I had my 2nd cycling accident, much worse than NY. For reasons too complicated/embarrassing to explain I repeated ‘arrsum overe titium’, as we say in Latin, to splat with full rib cage on a French road. To hit a road at 30k/hour is not a good idea. Who knew?
“It was quite a thump. Because I was going downhill. As I crawled towards the kerb a car stopped and two young Frenchmen got out. They helped to sit me up against a wall. It was [dawning] on me this was my worst accident ever.
“’We will call the Pompiers’, they said, and stay with you til they arrive (French fire service operates as paramedics). ‘Have some water’.
“I said, stubborn Jock that I am, that I would be fine. But they stayed until they knew someone was coming for me. I was picked up by a friend.
“I have been convalescing for all of August. The first 10 days were the worst. A shattered rib cage meant there was no comfortable position in which to sleep, even with copious amounts of Jameson’s and sleeping pills.
“I am 80% mended now but still have pains depending on how I move. Who knew how important the rib cage and muscles around it were for almost every movement, even getting out of bed. I fear some [psychological] damage. But I won’t know for sure until I get my teeth into a politician.
“The body armour has arrived and I intend to be back on my bike this weekend. I’m apprehensive but it has to be done. I will counter my fear with thoughts of the kindness of strangers should it all go pear-shaped again.”
Neil will front a new political programme on BBC Two from next week, having stepped down from hosting his long-running politics show This Week earlier this year.
The Andrew Neil Show will dissect Brexit every Wednesday at 7pm from next week until the end of October.