23/07/2014 12:54 BST | Updated 22/09/2014 06:59 BST

Engaged and Confused: A Man's Guide to Marriage - Part 2: Ask Your Father


A lot of people have a habit of telling me that 'it's 2014,' despite me having never asked them what date it is. However, I have come to understand that this is their completely irrelevant way of saying that it is a modern era and times are changing. I'm sure they're right, even if I wonder whether Henry VIII ever said to the Catholic Church 'Hey it's 1533, I want a different wife, back off.' Regardless of what year or day of the week it is I think some traditions should be upheld, and this is why when deciding to propose to my now fiancée (spoiler: she said yes) I knew that I had to ask her father first.

Over the past couple of years I've performed in front of thousands, and like all high-brow comics, I've occasionally done that naked. That said the thought of asking him took me well beyond the point of touching cloth. I had saturated the cloth... it was more of a wet wipe at this point.

But why? Any middle-aged man would be lucky to have me... ask him to respectfully bonk his daughter for eternity. Okay maybe I had cause for concern.


In the weeks leading up to the proposal I had bottled out of asking him maybe 30 times but on this date, it was a Saturday. I could tell because I'd just watched James Martin failing to present another instalment of Saturday Kitchen. Shows with the day in their name are a real godsend for me... Daybreak is such a vague twat of a show in my opinion. On this date (again, sorry, I digressed) I knew it was D Day - Dad Day.

While my missus was in the shower I stalked through the house looking for him like a lion hunting its prey, or a creep in a club following a girl who isn't quite falling over but couldn't be considered to be completely standing up. Except I didn't want to finger him by a skip, I just wanted him to be my daddy. Which in hindsight sounds far worse, but there was no skip nearby.

I finally found him, stood in the sitting room playing around with the Sky+, series linking his favourite shows - Fuck he's so organised why would he want me for a son-in-law when I just wait to see an advert for a show I like then panic-find the remote and press the green button... I'm a disgrace.

Anyway, our eyes met across the room and in a cool calm and collected voice I said 'Perhaps we should sit down,' WHY DID I SAY THAT? Now he thinks I've killed someone he loves. Great start. With all of the calm of a fully charged vibrator I continued: 'I have something I need to ask you, I was wondering how you would feel, if you would be okay with, if you would allow me...(yep that's all the ways to say that sentence - must get to the point) if I asked Phoebe to marry me?'


The silence went on for what seemed like an eternity, and just in case this silence wasn't awkward enough our eye contact was never broken. WHAT THE F**K HAVE I DONE? I should have called first to warn him, is this something I could have done by text, hell maybe I should have tweeted him #nodowrynecessary.

Then his hand began to move, this is it he's going to strangle me to death with his bare hands - I respect that. But wait, his hand was stopping about midway and it appeared he was looking for my hand to greet his in a beautiful moment of affirmation, naturally I suspected it was a trick so he could break my daughter-loving hands, but regardless I went for it. The transaction was complete - no documents to sign here, the men have shaken hands. It was like buying a car, except one with the ability to talk and feel, and that I respect and love - which on a side note would be an effing awesome car and I would call it Phillip.

Around five minutes had gone by since either of us had actually spoken, part of me feared that in this process I had lost the ability to speak, but as Ronan Keating had always promised - he had said it best by saying nothing at all.

Afterwards I ran back upstairs and passionately kissed the image of James Martin sautéing some potatoes - Yeah a man kissed an HD image of another man on a 42-inch plasma screen, and what?

It's 2014 people!


Alex Smith (future son-in-law of the year)


The marketing department must know how this looks!?