Christian O’Connell: A funny thing happened on the way to the turntable

DJ Christian O'Connell makes his Fringe debut as a stand-up. Picture: comp
DJ Christian O'Connell makes his Fringe debut as a stand-up. Picture: comp
Have your say

EIGHT-time Sony Award winning DJ Christian O’Connell makes his Fringe debut as a stand-up this year, but was it on the to do list he wrote as a 13 year old?

Do you remember the joy of having a supply teacher turn up in your classroom? Best day ever. They had one goal, to survive. Yours: To Destroy. 

You never respected them and they seemed to never have a lesson plan. Just some rubbish to fill an hour so they could read the Racing Post.

One day in 1986, when I was 13, a supply teacher walked into our class. Yes! The lesson they gave us that day is what my first Edinburgh Stand up show is about.

The teacher was about to turn 40. This seemed really, really old to us. All of our teachers seemed old, like time travellers. She told us to make a list of what we wanted to have done with our lives by the time we were 40. Great idea right? We all made our lists. Mine had 13 things on it.

Now, being 13 and a boy I had other things on my mind like girls, Kelly Le Brock and trying to be like Bruce Lee so I forgot all about the list until a few months ago when my parents found it.

Reading through it I realised I’d managed to do six of the thing’s in my life. I felt proud. The teenage me wanted to be a DJ and have his own radio show. I’m lucky to do that. Then I saw there were seven that were undone. Now I felt a failure. I was turning 40 in 11 weeks time. What had been a filler lesson from a supply teacher was now a 27-year-old to-do list from myself to me. 

You’ll have to come and see the show this summer to find out what was on that list and if I did them all before I turned 40.

The show also has the weirdest letter a listener has ever sent to me in 15 years of being a breakfast radio DJ.

And I have had some really weird ones. Like the time a Lion keeper sent me some Lion poo. I am not joking. 

Christian O’Connell: This Is 13, Underbelly, Bristo Square, until 20 August, 8.40pm, £12.50-£13.50, 0131-226 0000