TALK OF THE CITY: News Flash! Amol Rajan reveals truth about panic attack drug while showing nerves of steel to tackle Bashir fiasco
Radio 4 star presenter Amol Rajan has revealed he has taken a sedative for his rather relaxed Today program debut.
The presenter started his job with Today on May 17, admitting to having had three shots of rum and ‘a little different’ prior to the show at 6am as he suffered a panic attack followed by insomnia, thanks to nerves prior to the show.
This sparked feverish speculation that it was ‘a little bit different’ that he called marijuana, as he is known for being a proponent of legalizing cannabis and other drugs.
Radio 4 star presenter Amol Rajan has revealed he has taken a sedative for his rather relaxed Today program debut. He later rightly praised his wife, Charlotte Faircloth, for helping him with his pre-show nerves
But last week, Amol told me his drug of choice was legal, saying, “On the” little bit different, “I’ve had so many people asking about this and not saying anything yet. So here’s the scoop. They were sleeping pills. They are called Donormyl. I think half a tablet is the normal dose. I had a quarter initially and then half with the rum. ‘
Amol, 37, who quit his job as the presenter of Radio 4’s The Media Show in March in preparation for his job with Today, was cautious about promoting the sedative, the strongest sleeping pill available without a prescription.
He added, “The reason I was a little gnomic on Twitter, and again on Today, is that I don’t really think I should be promoting sleeping pills in general, or any brand.”
Amol previously admitted on Twitter that he was very nervous. He said in a tweet to his 103,000 followers on the day of his first show: ‘Last night I had a panic attack. Worked myself into a frenzy, catastrophic over the first shift. Had three huge rums and a bit different. I have chicken for an hour, at 3:45. Survived. Thank you very much for all the kindness and constructive criticism. ‘
To Amol’s credit, he tried several healthy and holistic methods before resorting to drink and pills. He added on Twitter: ‘In the depths of my self-inflicted horror last night, I downloaded several apps to help with sleep. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk in such detail about navigating the Bay of Biscay. And downloading it amplified the doom that slid through my mind. ‘
Whatever nerves Amol had from Today, he and the BBC have shown courage by continuing with a documentary about William and Harry entitled The Princes And The Press – even though they will now have to tackle the fiasco over Martin Bashir’s infamous interview with Princess Diana
He also took the time to thank his Today co-presenters on Twitter: “Thank you so much to all of the team for looking after me… and to my wife, who picked me out.”
Whatever nerves Amol had from Today, he and the BBC have shown courage by continuing with a documentary about William and Harry entitled The Princes And The Press – even though they will now have to tackle the fiasco over Martin Bashir’s infamous interview with Princess Diana.
The two hour-long investigative episodes will focus on the brothers, their wives and their turbulent relationship with the media – not least the BBC.
The documentary is hosted by Amol, who is also in charge of ten Radio 4 podcast episodes for BBC Sounds. And in a bold move, the release date has been shifted to give the BBC time to include parts of William’s on-camera take-down from the BBC and Harry’s statement lashing out at the Corporation.
My source described the decision to keep the documentary on schedule as ‘guts in the light of Bashir’.
Amol tells me, ‘We are now looking for air this fall. We need to work more to reflect the sheer amount between the Royals and the media, not just the Bashir scandal, but Harry’s recent interviews – and everything else. ‘
Originally, the series was intended to focus heavily on Harry’s interview with American TV queen Oprah Winfrey.