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14th Jan 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Plank Of Wood That Saved Rose In Titanic

"I'm still terrified of water"

I’m sitting in a Starbucks just outside Dublin City Centre. I’m nervous. I’ve never interviewed such a high profile celebrity before. I scrambled a few notes and questions together on the back of my receipt and tried to calm myself down. The soy mocha decaf venti chai latte helped.

Then, in he walks. Tall, proud and nothing like I expected. Everyone in the place turned to see what magnetic force had arrived. He commanded the attention of everyone, even the baristas. He’s here. Daniel is here.

Me: Daniel, pleasure. How’s things?

Daniel: Ciara. Great to meet you. All good, hope you’re well.

Me: Sure doing my best, Dan. Listen, how are you holding up?

Daniel: Great pun, haha! To be honest, things have been great for me. As far as planks of wood go, I’ve had a fairly eventful life.

Me: Absolutely Dan. Would you mind taking us back to the night it all happened?

Daniel: Yeah no hassle Ciara. Basically it was a very cold morning in April, 1912. As you know, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sure everyone lost their reason. I was actually in the main dining room on the boat. I was gorgeous. Absolutely stunning, beautiful woodchip detail and shiny as a button. Somehow, I ended up in the middle of the ocean, drifting into the abyss, when Kate Winslet parked her arse on me.

Me: As an investigative journalist, I’m sure you can understand that I need to ask the hard-hitting questions here, Daniel. So, in your opinion, was there room for Kate AND Leo to fit safely on you?

Daniel: Wow. I expected that question, but not so soon. Honestly, Ciara, it’s so hard for me to say. My memory isn’t what it used to be. From what I can remember, Kate took up a good chunk of me, but I wasn’t fully occupied. I’m not familiar with Leo’s specs but there’s a chance he could’ve squashed on board.


Me: Just so I’m hearing you correctly Daniel, you think there was room for the both of them?

Daniel: I think so, yes.

**At this point, Daniel lies down flat on the ground in Starbucks. It’s a bit awkward as people are trying to get around him to put in their orders. He shows me where Kate lay and I can see clear as day, there was space. If Kate shifted a bit to the left, Leo would’ve possibly still been with us today.**

Me: Can I push you a little further? Do you think the right person was saved?

Daniel: I refuse to answer that question. I can’t possibly comment. You’re disgusting to even ask that.

Me: Haha.

Daniel: Haha, just kidding. You’re a divil.

Me: Daniel, I’m a divil. Tell me, how have things been since the big night?

Daniel: Obviously once Kate was taken to safety, I could relax. I drifted around for a while, then got back home. I took the family to Woodstown for a holiday, we reconnected and tried to move on from my terrifying experience. Most recently I was given a Knighthood from the Queen. It was surreal, a brilliant day. Kate and Leo came along as well for support. I found the whole thing a bit overwhelming. I mean, I did what any honest plank of wood would’ve done in that situation.

David Brailsford receives his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.

Me: No, you fully deserved it. You’re a hero. So, what does the future hold?

Daniel: I’m keeping my head down at the minute, doing a bit of work here and there. Just keeping focused and also trying to get over my fear of water. I’ve tried hypnotism which seems to be helping, but it’s slow progress. When you save a life, I feel you give up part of yourself in the process.

Me: Daniel, it’s been great chatting. I wish you all the best for the future.

Daniel: Ciara, pleasure. Take it easy pet.