‘I’m the only comedian to arrive at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs in an ambulance’
COMEDIAN and Today FM presenter Dermot Whelan has revealed how he had to be taken to Kilkenny by ambulance after he suffered a severe panic attack on his way to perform at the Cat Laughs Festival.
The comic said he thought he was going to die as he had never suffered a panic attack before.
Dermot, who presented the IMRO Radio Awards at the Lyrath Estate on Friday night, said he was driving to Kilkenny when he suddenly felt as if he was having “a heart attack” and had to pull over.
“I felt a bit funny and I felt like someone was sitting on my stomach,” he told RTE’s Claire Byrne. “I thought that is a bit weird and then it got more and more and I had difficulty breathing, so I pulled the car in and I was on the side of the road and I didn’t know what was happening.
“I thought I was having a stroke or a heart attack then I rang an ambulance and then I rang my wife to tell her I loved her so yeah I am the only comedian to arrive into the Kilkenny Cat Laughs festival in an ambulance.
“So it turned out I was having a panic attack, I had never had one before.”
The Dermot And Dave star said he is now on medication to help him to cope with stress.
He added: “I was doing breakfast radio at the time so I was probably very sleep deprived which is never good for you.
“I had started doing stand-up comedy which is quite stressful in itself anyway and obviously I wasn’t managing that anxiety around performance terribly well. And alcohol definitely played a part in it, I had been drinking the night before and probably wasn’t in great shape either and all of those things gathered to be a perfect storm.”
PHOTO: Dermot and Dave: Today FM presenters Dermot Whelan (left) and Dave Moore (right)