Saturday 24 February 2018

Rugby pundit Brent Pope will celebrate Christmas in the air after booking the wrong flight home to visit elderly parents

Brent Pope. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Brent Pope. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

Rugby pundit Brent Pope has told how he’ll be celebrating Christmas in the air after accidentally booking the wrong flight home to New Zealand.

The RTÉ star is set to spend the festive season at home with his elderly parents close to Christchurch.

But he revealed that he’d be ringing in December 25th at 30,000 feet after making a boo-boo with his booking.

Former rugby player Brent said: “My father rang me today and they’re all excited about me coming home.

“Unfortunately, when I just looked to check, I booked to actually arrive home on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve.

“So I’m going to be over the sea somewhere with Emirates and I’ll be hoping they have a few Santa hats!”

Today, the children’s author crowned Kerry girl Bríd Courtney winner of the ‘Someone Like Me’ competition aimed at promoting positive attitudes towards disability in primary schools.

Hosting the awards ceremony at Farmleigh House, he described all of the young people who took part as “inspirational”: “Adults can learn so much from all these kids.

“They don’t see other children with disabilities as being any different.

Everybody’s equal in their eyes.”

Ashburton native Brent originally moved to Ireland for three months in 1991.

Two and a half decades on, the 54 year-old confessed he still gets homesick from time to time: “My parents are elderly now so I try to go back every year.

“I spend two or three weeks out there and it’s just nice.

“Dad’s 86 and mum’s 82 and they’re in great health.

“As you get older though, you’re always thinking it might be the last time you see them.

He continued: “For years, I’ve been dreading that call that comes in the middle of the night to say that one of your parents is ill or has passed.

“[That’s] the sad thing about living away and a lot of people feel it now because of emigration.”

“So I’m looking forward to seeing them – although I’m not looking forward to the flight!”

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