I’VE been a regular customer of this local chippie for 35 years.
So Ant McPartlin’s Chiswick story on last night’s (Saturday Feb 14) The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV was of particular interest.
Telling of a past Valentine’s Night romantic surprise for his wife, Strictly make-up supremo Lisa Armstrong.
Taking her to Chris’s Fish Bar in Turnham Green Terrace rather than Michelin-starred La Trompette in nearby Devonshire Road.
My transcript of the exchange is below.
If you’re in the UK, you can also see it here via the ITV Player – available for the next 30 days.
Jonathan Ross: “OK. So Valentine’s Day is today, of course. Are you, have you been romantic making the gestures at home? You’ve got to make the effort. Have you made the effort this year?”
Ant McPartlin: “I have this year. I’ve bought some good presents. There’s been years when…I’m normally quite a romantic person and I’ve surprised my wife on holidays, last minute surprise holidays and stuff.
“But we’d got to a point where – and I think, were you like this? – when you’re married, you tend to do the same thing. And I’d started taking her to the same restaurant. And there was one year I said, ‘Oh, I thought we’d go to this place in Chiswick where we live.’
“And she went, ‘Oh, boring.’ I said, ‘Really?’ This is like a Michelin-starred restaurant. She said, ‘Well we go there every year. Come on, you used to think about things. You used to do things on the spur of the moment. I’d go anywhere just so we spend a night together. Just something different.’
“So I booked the local chippie and took her there. She said, ‘I’d go anywhere with you.’ I thought, ‘Right, OK, I’ll take this.’ So I rang the chippie and I said, ‘Can I book a table?’ And the guy went, ‘You wanna what? We’ve only got one table.’ And that’s where people park their bags while they’re waiting for the chips.
“So I said, ‘Well, on Valentine’s Night can you make it available?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, OK then. But I don’t have any reserved signs or anything like that.’ I said, ‘Well, look, get a rose and put it in a vase.’ Which he did. And he went, ‘I tell you what, I’ll sit on it until you get there.’
“So we’re walking down the high street (Chiswick High Road) and I walked past the restaurant she thought we were going to go to. She went, ‘Oh, surprise, surprise..’ I went, ‘No, actually, we’re not going there.’
“And then we turned left and went into Chris’s Fish and Chip Shop where we sat at the table like this…and we both had sausage and chips and a can of Lilt and it was less than a tenner. And we had a lovely night.”