My most embarrassing moment ever


As described on air earlier this week, since I was 14 I have had the same most embarrassing moment. However, it was well and truly slam dunked on Tuesday night in a London Tube station….

My husband and I had arranged to meet for dinner in central London after work. A lovely friend had given us a "free 3 hours babysitting" voucher she made for our Christmas pressie (great gift idea!!) and we finally were getting around to cashing it in! So, I went into the Tube station, bought my ticket and went to the ticket barrier / turnstyle / flappy western bar-style thing where you put your ticket in and the barriers open and you pass through – you know the type I mean?!

Well, it was the commuter time of day and so very busy in this packed station. The chap in front of me went through and I waited for the barriers to close, which they usually do quite briskly - but on this occasion, they stayed open.

Knowing that I had a queue building behind me, I quickly pondered the inevitable "shall I, shan't I?" I had paid for a ticket, so all was above board and clearly these barriers were jammed open but I was certain that if I was to step in their direction, they would slam closed. Anyway, a good 15 seconds went by (felt like 2 minutes!!) and they remained open, so I decided that there was obviously an issue and made my way forwards…

Of course, yes indeed, as expected, the barriers flew closed with much vigour, snatching my bag in the centre of their jaws and narrowly missing my arm as I jumped backwards, with pride slightly tickled!

Ok, so my gut feeling was right, never mind! I stretched backwards, whilst still holding my bag which was caught in the middle, to try to put my ticket through the slot – but couldn't quite reach. So, I decided that the barriers obviously had good hold of my bag, and let go of it, inserted my ticket and then quickly darted back to catch my bag as it fell to the floor when the barriers opened for me to pass through.

Sounds like a good plan?

Well, they opened and closed in the blink of an eye and as I stooped to catch my bag, the barriers flung shut – with my head stuck in between them now – an even better catch than my bag!!

Truly, this was not a fair occurence with many commuters and tourists, shoppers and residents all making their way through the various gates with me having some Monty Python-style fight with mine Anyway, I managed to force the barriers away from my head, backed out (still not through!!) and slightly embarrassed, but pride still intact, walked to the side and was let through another gate.

I thought I'd survived as I slightly chuckled to myself heading toward the platform – until I saw a crowd of what seemed to be Italian students laughing their socks off, acting out having their heads squashed between their hands and then letting go quickly as if they were a cuckoo clock, shouting "HALLO, HALLO"!!

Yes, the bar on my most embarressing moment had just been raised!!

Love Pipa x


  1. Trish February 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh Pipa I was almost crying with laughter over your ‘fight’ with the barrier – I could almost see you. I’m so glad I’m not the only ‘Calamity Jane’ around. lol

  2. Ann February 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa,
    I did have to laugh….if it were me I would have wanted the ground to swallow me up!
    The most important thing is your head is fine…and you are still as mad as ever! x

  3. Sharon Gasparutti February 3, 2009 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa, I do know what thopse barriers are like at times from many ‘moons’ ago when I had to used them myself,and it still make me cringe. And what is more I really do hate the underground, just can’t stand them!

  4. Jenny @ Bromsgrove, WORCS February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa
    Heard you relate this, was just chuckling uncontrollably – told my hubby, Jim, when we were down the pub – made a great story there!! QVC is not just a shopping channel – it is a source of fun, interest in this SOooo serious world – love you all and the products – Jen@ Bromsgrove

  5. Francesca February 5, 2009 at 1:06 am -  Reply

    Laugh and the world laughs with you Pipa! It does us good to be able to share our embarrassing moments… However, not to have had a more embarrassing moment since age 14 is pretty impressive… I phoned in to tell you about my handbag moment on the tube when the doors closed in on my bag as I was stepping off the train, so that me and the handles were on the platform, but the bag was still in the train… I tell you, as I wrestled to get the bag through the doors, I had visions of the train leaving with me flying on the outside, holding on to those handles… There was no way I was letting go of my handbag! But funnily enough, handbags were involved in another embarrassing moment of mine recently, which possibly tops the tube experience. While browsing the shelves at a well known supermarket, a buckle on my handbag got entangled with the plastic bit where they put the prices/descriptions, quite unbeknownst to me. So as I turned away from the shelf, half of it came down with an almighty crash and all I could do was look in complete bewilderment at this trail of plastic hanging off my handbag! So much for our handbags making us look good!!

  6. Pamela Bassett February 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Loved your embarrassing moment. Thought I had to tell you my recent one. I watch most QVC programmes and always enjoy Quacker Factory. Went to the library last week and as I was waiting to have my book stamped out, noticed the librarian was wearing the paw print sweatshirt. When it came to my turn , in a mad moment I said ‘Quack quack!’
    I was met with a withering look that said ‘Poor soul, she’s lost it!’ I started to explain that it was a Quacker Factory shirt and people recognising it might say Quack Quack! She looked at me without a glimmer of a smile and said, ‘Oh I don’t know about that, I bought it in a charity shop.’I slunk out feeling a right wally! Hope you got a laugh from my embarrassing moment. Pamela

  7. Martin A February 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm -  Reply

    Hey pipa that sounds horrible. Hope you were ok .
    Your my favourtite presenter so i shocked when i herad!! lots of love martinxx

  8. Liz Ainsley February 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

    Oh Pippa, loved reading your story, what a scream!! You always manage to make me smile, please dont ever change. Love to you and yours. Liz

  9. Jenny Fernandez February 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa,
    I am emailing from Gibraltar – a land where there are no subs or underground or trains for that matter. When I heard your story, I laughed so much I pe-eed on myself!!! I could almost imagine you there, and the way you were telling the story was hillarious. It was brilliant as I was a bit down that day, and you really cheered me up!! Anyhow, if you fancy a break from all that hullabaloo, come to Gibraltar for a while, the worst thing that could happen is your credit card suffering a blow with all the great shopping here.. obviously not as good as QVC.
    Keep well.

  10. Pipa March 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    I told this story to a friend of mine just yesterday – she had already read it numerous times on the blog but wanted me to act it out (she nearly peeed herself too Jenny!!)…. oh you have to laugh!! Life wouldn’t be the same without moments like that! Much love to you all and keep giggling! Pipa x

  11. Andrea Cowling March 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

    OMG this is the first time I have actually read the feeds on this site, and I just stumbled on to this convo. I laughed that much I fell off the settee, tears pouring from my eyes and the screen fading before me. So reasurring that these type of things don’t just happen to me.You will spend a lifetime grinning about that one, take care Pippa you are always fun to watch on QVC.

  12. theresa mccauley April 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    hi pips, i laughed like a loon over the probs with the train barriers ! last year i went to london for the firset time in nearly 26yrs, used to go there every month,son came along and put paid to going up/down the country ! anyway went last yr and got lost in the underground ! got trapped in two diffrent barriers, then got off at the wrong place ! by this point i’d just about given up all hope of meeting my partner and was gonna go back home to cornwall,but some kind person took me under their wing and put me/case on the right train ! took nearly a day to spend a long weekend with my man ,who it has to be said laughed his head off when he heard the carry on ! snort ! glad im not the only one who has probs getting from A2B !!! take care, love t xxx

  13. Liz V April 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Red definately Pipa – it soooooo suits you!!!!

  14. Joanne Carr April 9, 2009 at 8:32 am -  Reply

    Dear Pippa
    Your hair looks best dark auburn, like it is now.
    Love Joanne x

  15. Maria Stanford April 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa
    I too love your ever changing hair colour. I think red suits you best!

  16. Lisa April 9, 2009 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa I think you suit blonde hair and it looks great short. It really suits you. From Lisa

  17. Ally Stevens April 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    I think you are very lucky because you look fab with any hair colour. What about dark with lighter highlights?

  18. V Turner April 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    You are a great presenter and that’s no ‘shmooz’. You are so natural on air. So you stay natural, but get your hair back to the lovely platinum blonde!!

  19. Lesley April 11, 2009 at 12:18 am -  Reply

    Hi Pipa
    I think you should go back to having red hair again!

  20. Jim Erskine April 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa as a fella who likes good things I will just say one thing YOU’R MY FAVOURITE.

  21. Jennifer Harris April 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa,
    dark or red really suit you!!!! I love your ever changing hair. short hair really suits your personality. You are my favourite presenter. You really make me laugh such a joy to watch.
    Love to you and yours

  22. Lorraine Fernandez April 22, 2009 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa,
    Agree with other comments, all clolours seem to suit you, but blonde is my fave.

  23. Gaum April 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa,
    Dark hair suits you best – dark brown or dark red. Looks healthier than ‘bottle’ blond too (sorry to any bottle blondes out there!). What about dramatic black? And how about ringing the changes with a longer length?
    By the way, hope you didn’t tell Tynor off when he ripped your coat. I share my home with two beautiful cats and, as one of the mugs presented to me by a friend says – ‘having a cat is wonderful, but you have to accept that all your home furnishings are in fact indoor activity stations, designed to test your cat’s agility skills!’. Same goes for possessions. Having returned home to find a leather coat ‘decorated’ with claw marks and my favourite silk scarf used to cover up a toilet accident, I know how you feel. But I love them so much that it really doesn’t matter.

  24. Hayley April 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa
    definately red – matched your quirky sense of humour, just read about your most embarrassing moment and almost fell off my chair, bless you!!

  25. Kate Williams May 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello Pipa,
    Have just read your most embarassing moment and I chuckled to myself as I have done the exact same thing. Except I had to be removed from the vice like grip by a security officer who could barely contain his laughter!!
    Anyway, I think you have the most fab and trendy hair but think you look uber cool when it is dark and it really suits your style and personality.
    Keep up the fantastic work.

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