The comedian who endearingly faced down a series of unforeseen challenges in Rhod Gilbert vs Mount Kilimanjaro will take his talent for trouble and his can-do spirit to flight attendant school.
So far this season on his hit BBC reality television show Work Experience, comedian Rhod Gilbert tried to see how he would fare in the Navy, as a classical musician and as a festival chef. The popular radio host and standup comedian says, however, that training to be a British Airways cabin crew member might have been the most challenging job of them all.
“Hats off to you… fair play, it’s exhausting. It is really hard work and there is a lot more to it than anyone would ever realize,” Gilbert told his temporary colleagues after completing a transatlantic flight under the watchful eye of his trainer. “Once you see it in this environment, you realize the training has got to be perfect, and I haven’t been this tired in a really long time.”
Before the well-known television host could try his hand working the first class cabin, he first set about training at the British Airways Global Learning Academy at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). At the airline’s insistence, he was also required to update his personal grooming and adopt a more professional look.
“While Rhod was a natural at the safety drills, he couldn’t get his head around what he called the ‘first class fiddle faff’ needed for premium service,” Gilbert’s mentor at the airline, Katharine Nimmo explained. “But after he’d had the session on learning fine wine and cheese pairings, he seemed to get more into the spirit of it, and even nailed how to make the perfect First class bed.”
After completing an abridged training course, the frequent-career-changing-television-star was eventually permitted to work on an actual British Airways flight from LHR to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The comedian was required to wear a distinctive silver “trainee” gilet to let passengers know he had not yet completed the full 6-week training course.
“I had to crack the whip to keep him hard at work, but he was really getting into it, and he charmed the socks off the customers and kept the crew laughing!” crewmate Simon Scaparo said. “If stand-up ever dries up, Rhod, come and join us. I’d fly with you any time.”
Of course, actual flight attendant hopefuls have a much tougher road to wearing the British Airways uniform. Last year, 25,000 prospective flight attendants applied to become British Airways cabin crew – of those, only 2,000 were accepted to the training program.
Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience is now in its eighth season on BBC2 and BBC Wales. It will be first available to viewers on Thursday, April 5 on BBC Wales and the BBC iPlayer.
[Image Source: WebWire]