A big announcement…

A gig announcement…

No, nothing to do with Marvel, Sony or my eldest son, Tom.

News regarding me I am afraid but big news nonetheless with the announcement of my TED talk being recorded in Amsterdam in early October – a trip which Nikki will accompany me on.

And this is doubly handy for me since our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary coincides with the talk and Amsterdam being the city where Nikki finally wore down my resistance and managed to coerce a life-changing question out of me.

Readers who don’t know me might imagine that this has not been a coincidence but that I am a hopeless romantic and also a fiendish planner for this piece of serendipity to occur.

Conversely, those readers who do know me, will realise immediately that this piece of good fortune has been a complete and utter fluke – much like most of the good things in my life.

So to the talk then – which is an exciting prospect for me.

The people at TED (a bit like people from Google and Amazon, in that I have never met them) came to me with an open invitation – to speak for 18 minutes on any topic of my choosing.

Not replete with such opportunities and since my TV days are long gone, naturally I said yes. Immediately. And before I gave much attention to the the brief that accompanied the invitation.

“…a speech that is interesting, full of bright ideas and is inspirational…”

Oh, I thought.

But too late to reconsider plus when I accepted – the recording date was still a long way off – and plenty of time therefore for something to occur to me.

My forthcoming talk is billed as…


I must have called it this myself since no one has read what I have written, nor even heard it. And so I fret a little now that the title could be mis-interpreted as a talk by a man who never gave up and one who finally made it!

A corollary then to my story Eclipsed?

And on this I am quick to allay anyone’s fears… because my talk is not going to be this at all.

I am not explaining that with perseverance we can all break through. A thin message at best – not terribly helpful and a smug theme to boot.

‘Hey guys, I kept trying and guess what… I made it.”

No one wants to hear this talk.

So what then is my message and talk?

Good question.

And you will need to wait and see, but to say…

It will be (somewhat) inspirational. And to an extent, comic. It will draw on themes from Eclipsed. And it will highlight the most important thing that Nikki and I have ever done as parents – and on this, an alternative but less snappy title could be…


But like I say, as yet, no one has read what I have written and so this remains my hope.

I make no claims to great success in my life, nor prowess – but I do say to my boys – with boring regularity – that with age comes mistakes – and with mistakes comes wisdom.

And whilst I am not so wise – I have made loads of bloody mistakes in my life and if mistakes are also lessons that can be learned from, then I must have some wisdom to share.

A TED talk then by the Grand Wizard, Dominic Gandolf Holland – coming soon…

And finally, a nod also to the people who know me well – and will have smiled wryly at the notion of Nikki wearing down my resistance. More accurately, it was her keeping her options open for a better suitor (taller) to come along before finally relenting to the funny little guy who is prone to mistakes.



31 thoughts on “A big announcement…

  1. mashaal says:

    this is all amazing! (i loved the disclaimer at the beginning of the blog) but you are going to crush it at this new gig of yours and good luck! let us all know how it goes

  2. Liz R says:

    Congratulations, that is awesome! I love TED talks. And having read some of your stories and listened to your podcasts, I have absolute faith that yours will be one well worth watching.

    Also – what a great month to get married :D! My husband and I will be celebrating 26 years this October. Happy (early) Anniversary to you and Nikki and, what the heck, to me and my guy.

    Oh, and I like “Never Write Yourself Off,” because I’ve been keeping myself motivated by that basic concept for fourteen years now. At some point over that time, it’s gone from a frustrating race toward a perpetually shifting endpoint, to a fantastically winding journey where I keep meeting amazing people who leave me better than I was before.

    Maybe someday I’ll actually publish a book, haha. Good luck with your talk, I’m looking forward to it.

  3. Laura says:

    Congratulations!!! This is so exciting! I was wondering if it will be possible to purchase tickets for this ted talk? I live in the Netherlands and would love to hear you talk in real life instead of the little blog announcements!
    Anyway congrats and much love

    • Dom says:

      I am not sure – and I have just been informed by the vague people of Ted – that it is in Breda – not Amsterdam – and it is Ted x Breda (which to be honest, I don’t understand)

      • Laura says:

        Honestly I just checked their site and I don’t understand it either! There are tickets available for an event on October the second. But that seemed to be a whole day about imagine reality.
        Maybe if there are more details it will be clearer! Thanks for the response!

  4. Kayla Linkletter says:

    My parents just celebrated 43 years of marriage & still crazy…. in love as ever. Mistakes are good, they’re healthy & o have to learn not to feel the worlds biggest failure when I muck something up. My dad always says “ nobody got hurt? Nobody went to the hospital.” It’s a crazy mantra but it still works when I’m feeling like America’s biggest screw up. Congrats on the gig, sounds amazing!~!

    • Dom says:

      with my disastrous financial investments over the years (I only ever make money when holding a microphone) I use, “no one has died”

  5. Mrudula Mundkur says:

    Oh my god. Desperately waiting for October to come and hoping for the exams to be over by then to watch the talk.

  6. Sally says:

    Congratulations on the TED talk and your silver anniversary!! We celebrate our 18th in October as well. After only recently “discovering you” through Instagram (I live in Tennessee and not familiar with British comedy) I look forward to your blog posts and have thoroughly enjoyed your (4) podcasts! I enjoy my alone time at night after the kids are asleep, listening to your podcasts through headphones and giggling at your humor as my husband snores. With both my husband and I in our mid to late forties, I have just begun feeling a tug of mid-life crisis… mostly, that feeling of what difference have I made in my 20 years as an environmental scientist… should I be doing MORE with my life? That feeling that you just get ONE SHOT. It weighs heavy. But recently my 80 year old dad, a lumber insurance salesman most of his life, has started writing screenplays and entering film festivals and WINNING! He may not make it big, especially this late in the game, but it’s inspiring to watch him take his second shot and have lots of fun trying. Looking forward to “Never Write Yourself Off”!

  7. Regina says:

    There is so much wit and wisdom in Eclipsed that I have been waiting for the moment when others will recognize it and ask you to do something along the lines of a TED talk. Congrats! Yours is the type of motivational talk I can not only stomach but also appreciate greatly. Can’t wait!

  8. Sophie says:

    Congratulations! This will be amazing and I’m sure you’ll have absolutely no problem with inspirational. You’ve plenty of that already. Have a fab time filming, try not to be too nervous and can’t wait to see the end result!

    P.s. you never need to apologise for writing about yourself. 🙂

  9. Riley says:

    Just discovered these blogs a few weeks back. Usually, I just skip over blogs, but I rather enjoy these. Keeps it simple, and I love hearing about the amazing opportunities thrown your way! Can’t wait to listen to your TED talk!

  10. Shaina D says:

    What great news. I’ve been watching your routines for a while now (whatever I can find on youtube) and am eager to hopefully see you in person one day. I find you extraordinarily hilarious– I feel as if we have the same type of humor.
    Wondering if you will ever make your way to the states, namely New York were I live, for a performance. It would be incredible to watch you live. I’ve been in need of a good laugh lately.
    Best regards,
    Shaina D

      • Shaina D says:

        Well if it makes you feel any better you already have one fan here who will root you on.
        Next time you come on vacation to New York you should seriously think about doing a routine; I could bring a whole gang of my mates too!
        The whole world needs more laughs. 🙂
        Best regards,
        Shaina D

  11. Charlotte R says:

    So you asked Nikki to become a “Holland” in Holland?! Was that little detail planned?
    In all seriousness, congratulations for being asked to speak at a TED event. I’m sure you will have the audience captivated for the whole 18 minutes. Best of luck!

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