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At 50 it's time to take stock of your life

Chris Jackson | 19:10 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Chris Jackson as a baby

I was quite cute in my early days

A rather eerie thing happened to me on the morning of my 50th Birthday recently. I woke up to find my watch had stopped.

In the hope it wasn't some dreadful omen I decided I would venture out into the open. I avoided walking under a bus and survived the day which happily culminated in a rather nice party with family and friends.

However the stopped watch did get me thinking. If I were to keel over tomorrow had I notched up "50 things to do before you die?"

Well after more than a quarter of a century in broadcasting my rather privileged position means I can indeed draw up a full list....

In no particular order:

Chris Jackson in Alnwick fair ducking stool

A good ducking at the Alnwick Fair

Sailed a tall ship

Jumped out of a plane

Sang on stage at London's South Bank

Been ducked in a ducking stool

Taught English abroad

Rode out a hurricane in New Orleans

Leant Prince Charles a fountain pen

Attended a voodoo ceremony

Circumnavigated the globe in one direction

Lived in a haunted house

Camped out in the Australian outback

Fell in love

Seen abject poverty at first hand

Been down underground as deep as anyone can go in the UK

Presented my own show on BBC1 (Inside Out of course!)

Chris Jackson in a Hawk Jet fighter plane

Playing Top Gun at RAF Leeming

Been flying in a jet fighter

Been on board an aircraft carrier at sea

Drifted over the Tyne Bridge in a hot air balloon

Walked over the top of the Syndey Harbour Bridge

Have swung Newcastle's Swing Bridge

First non-worker to cross Gateshead's Millennium Bridge

Appeared as a panto dame

Have stood on top of the World Trade Center, New York

Flown in a helicopter

Fronted Look North (with Carol Malia)

Gone white water rafting

Swam naked in a waterfall in Hawaii

Taken in cats from a rescue shelter

Was in a plane with hijackers

Had a humpback whale swim underneath me

Skied down a black run

Got served in a pub under age

Canoed on a turquoise lake in the Rockies

Fled Transylvania on a midnight train

Scuba dived

Water skied on a Scottish Loch

Was given six-of-the-best at school (unfairly!)

Have been questioned by a judge in court

Travelled the Eastern Bloc before the Iron Curtain fell

Entered several countries illegally

Been flown to a private island by an arab sheik

Seen a volcano erupt

Seen black bears up close in the wild

Some of my work has been catalogued in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Watched the sun rise over Ayer's Rock (Uluru)

Watched an open heart surgery operation

Watching open heart surgery at Newcastle's Freeman hospital

Watching open heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital

Snorkled on the Great Barrier Reef

Appeared naked on TV

Lost my eyesight for several months (not recommended)

Helped launch a radio station

Have voted in every election

But most importantly.... I have been able to change someone's life.

I really have been incredibly fortunate!



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