Review: Tom Daley’s Splash! ITV1. Omid Djalili’s dive saves the day

Omid Djalili after completing his rather impressive dive from the 10m high board

Maybe it was seeing Tom Daley and a few B-list celebrities without many clothes on (I’m thinking the Sugababes girl and Benidorm actor here, rather than Helen Lederer or Omid Djalili)? Or maybe it was the fact that there really wasn’t much else on telly that night and it was a cold evening.

Whatever, it seems that Splash! really did make a Splash! in the ratings on Saturday, reaching over 6 million (sad?) people. Certainly it was as cheesy as hell. Right down there with the rest of ITV’s reality TV programmes. But in my opinion whatever brings the art of diving to a greater audience has to be a good thing.

For years councils up and down the land have been mercilessly ripping out diving boards at local pools for fear of being sued if someone lands on the boards on their head, so it’s about time that diving – one of the most technically complex and frightening of Olympic sports – began to fight back. The show is filmed at the brand spankingly new £26 million Inspire leisure centre in Luton, complete with Olympic sized swimming pool, and rarely has Luton looked this good on camera, thanks largely to some nice red lighting illuminating the boards.

Presented by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay, who looked like an accountant who has just rolled his trousers up to go for a walk on the beach (those long shorts looked terrible), the show wasn’t without its moments, including Jo Brand’s judging commentary – the wittiest I’ve ever seen her. But if ex-Olympic diver Leon Taylor was supposed to be Simon Cowell (ie the bad guy on the panel) it didn’t really work.

Ultimately the problem with diving as a massive spectator sport is that it’s over in a few seconds. Really I think each of the divers needed to have at least a  couple of dives so there is a bit more to judge them on. Other than the dive off at the end following the cheesy elimination process of the rubbish divers (Helen Lederer being the worst by some distance) we only got to see them once. Perhaps it was because there simply wasn’t time to cram it all in alongside the inevitable emotionally heart wrenching back story about how the contestants were scared out of their wits by water/heights/diving etc.

Still, even if you hated the programme, it was undoubtedly worth watching for Omid Djalili’s performance alone. The actor/comedian is a big fella and when he said he was going off the top 10m board (the height of more than double decker buses) I feared the audience members might be in for a chloriney water soaked shower. Would it be like Peter Kay bombing into the pool in the John Smith’s ad or would it be a fat man embarrassingly belly flopping into the pool? Actually it was neither. It was a fairly decent dive – OK with a bit of over rotation – but better than anything I could do. The man clearly has guts. You can see it here: http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-01-05/see-comedian-omid-djalilis-winning-splash-dive/.

You can see the divers who took part in Saturday’s episode below:

 

 

 

 

Come Dive With Me! Tom Daley puts celebrities through their paces in Splash!

ALL PICTURES: ITV

It’s been hyped to death, but I am genuinely interested in seeing Splash! this weekend – though they really should have called the programme Come Dive With Me (maybe legal issues prevented it). Featuring Olympic diver and all round pretty boy Tom Daley as mentor, it stars fifteen celebrities, all of whom will try and master the art of diving off the boards. One of the most difficult Olympic disciplines, diving is one of the few sports that is genuinely terrifying (even Daley himself admits that he gets scared every time he dives so heaven knows what the molly coddles slebs will be feeling).

Hosting the show will be Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan. Says Kay: “I’m looking forward to bantering with anyone in Speedos!” while Gabby Logan adds, rather more intelligently: “It’s fascinating to watch people try to overcome the fear factor. Watching people climb up the stairs and decide which board to dive from is one of the most exciting moments of the whole programme.”

Celebrities in the first episode include Sugababes singer Jade Ewen, TV Presenter Jennie Falconer and best of all comedian Omid Djalili. I don’t want to sound mean but I’m kind of expecting him to do a Peter Kaye type ‘bomb’ off the high board like the John Smith’s advert. But then maybe he will surprise us all!

Here’s the full line celeb line up:

Show 1

  • Jake Canuso, actor
  • Omid Djalili, comedian
  • Jade Ewen, Sugababes singer
  • Jennie Falconer, TV presenter
  • Helen Lederer, comedian

Show 2

  • Caprice, model
  • Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, ski jumper
  • Joey Essex, TOWIE
  • Diarmuid Gavin, TV gardener
  • Charlotte Jackson, Sky Sports presenter

Show 3

  • Linda Barker, TV designer
  • Dom Joly, comedian
  • Tina Malone, actress
  • Jennifer Metcalfe, actress
  • Anthony Ogogo, Olympic boxer

Splash! Saturday January 5, ITV1,  7.15pm

End of the world as we know it. But I’ll just sit and watch Corrie!

It seems frankly amazing to me, but according to research carried out by digital TV solution YouView over 1 in 10 of us would spend our last half an hour on planet Earth watching Coronation Street.

Apparently, should the world end tomorrow – as predicted by the Mayan Calendar – 11 per cent of us would rather spend our final moments on the sofa watching Corrie than doing something, let’s say, more physical with a loved one/passing stranger.

Other shows that we would choose to watch in the final moments include Dr Who (9%), Downton Abbey (9%), Homeland (8%) and Eastenders (7%).

Surprisingly very few would turn to their TV for some light-relief during their last hours on Earth, with no comedy programmes featuring in the top five at all.

Classic comedy Dad’s Army was the first to make an appearance in joint sixth place alongside Gavin and Stacey, with one in 20 (5%) of the 2,000 respondents surveyed looking for laughs in their last hours.

It may come as little shock to some that reality shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made in Chelsea failed to make it into the top ten at all, although together they were still the preferred pick for 3% of the nation.

For more information visit: http://www.youview.com

Dancing On Ice 2013: Meet the celeb skaters

It’s back! Dancing On Ice, the celebrity ‘reality’ show that demands the most work of the contestants while offering the least reward. Seriously, which of the former winners have gone on to do particularly well? We reckon you’d even struggle to remember who actually won in previous years. Go on, try and remember Sam Attwater or Hayley Tamaddon. Or Gaynor Faye. Yet these poor people have to spend weeks learning not only how to skate but how to dance while skating. No easy task.

Anyhow, here are the runners and riders for the new series, which kicks of on ITV on Sunday the 6th of January.

Anthea Turner

Anthea hasn’t been on our TV screens much since the ill-advised incident at her marriage to Grant Bovey when they ate Cadbury’s chocolate bars for money. A cheap stunt that backfired quite severely and which Anthea probably doesn’t want anyone to mention any more. Oops.

Beth Tweddle

Beth is an multi-medal winning artistic gymnast, which must surely make her a favourite to win the show. All she has to do is learn to skate and she should walk it. Bit of a ringer, truth be told.

Gareth Thomas

2013 should be quite a year for Gareth as he is due to be the subject of a Hollywood biopic. Mickey Rourke was due to be playing Gareth but has recently dropped out, presumably because the film would have to end with Gareth’s appearance on Dancing On Ice and Rourke would look insane in lycra.

Joe Pasquale

Come on Pasquale, you’ve already been King of the Jungle. Let someone else have a go!

Keith Chegwin

Here’s hoping Cheggers doesn’t decide to make this series of Dancing On Ice the second time he’s appeared on TV nude.

Lauren Goodger

The latest of the woeful crop of ‘scripted reality’ show ‘stars’ to make the move to ‘proper’ ‘reality’ shows, Lauren will be rubbish at skating. You watch, rubbish.

Luke Campbell

Hull’s Olympic boxing hero, Luke has wasted no time in making a bid for TV stardom. You’d think he’d be to busy building a boxing career to take part but apparently not.

Matt Lapinskas

This year’s token Ex-Eastender. We’re seriously struggling to remember who he played. Was it Dirty Den?

Oona King

So Oona used to be an MP but lost her seat to George Galloway, then Galloway went on Celebrity Big Brother and made a complete fool of himself, now he’s an MP again. Will Oona be attempting to do the same thing by making a complete fool of herself on Dancing On Ice and then running for parliament again? We hope so.

Pamela Anderson

A few years ago, getting Pamela Anderson on Dancing On Ice would have been a genuine coup. Now it just weems weird. One for the dads, though.

Samia Ghadie

This year’s token Corrie star. ITV know how to get the most value from their salaried artistes, don’t they.

Shayne Ward

Go on, think real hard, you remember the name don’t you, yes, no, do you want a clue? OK, he won X Factor. No? Still don’t remember? Neither do we.

X Factor: What happened to the past winners?

So James Arthur has fought off double-pronged attacks from a 9-foot tall, perma-tanned, blubbing scouser and a midget bible-basher with weirdly angular hair to become the winner of X Factor 2012. And doesn’t he seem delighted about it? No, he doesn’t. He just continues to shuffle around sulkily like a grumpy teenager who’s been told to tidy his room. Maybe it’s because now that he’s a somebody for the night he’s realised he has to start the hard work of becoming a nobody again.

You see, though they are famous for a while and some of them shift a few singles, most X Factor winners subsequently become spectacularly unsuccessful. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at the Ghosts of Winners Past then, shall we?

2004 – Steve Brookstein

Yeah, see? We’ve proven our point already! Brookstein won, released a Phil Collins cover version and then got dropped. He has spent the intervening years complaining about winning, about releasing a Phil Collins cover version and about being dropped.

He now claims to be a jazz singer.

2005 – Shayne Ward

He may have sold over 3 million records since winning but Mr Ward is now appearing in ‘80’s themed musical’ Rock Of Ages instead of being a pop star. He hasn’t troubled the charts for 5 years.

2006 – Leona Lewis

OK, we admit, she did alright. International hits etc, etc. BUT she still lives in Hackney, so can she really considered a success.

2007 – Leon Jackson

We know – who? We can’t remember him either. Apparently he was Scottish. Ring any bells? No? Let’s just move on.

2008 – Alexandra Burke

Success-wise, Alexandra Burke is kind of Leona Lewis-light. She had a few hits and still lingers in the periphery of the media, but really she’s all but had it. The only recent news we could find about her was that she bought a Range Rover. Says it all.

2009 – Joe McElderry

Yeah. Nice lad. That’s about all though, eh? Does musicals, releases Christmas albums, smiles a lot, makes a living. Good luck to him.

2010 – Matt Cardle

First single – No.1, second single – No.6, third single No.185. Say no more.

2011 – Little Mix

A bit early to tell how these munchkins dragged through a branch of Claire’s Accessories will get on. After a year of frantic dieting and photoshopping their debut album has only just come out. It could take anything from 2 to 6 months for them to hit the bargain bins.

Charlie Brooks condemns I’m A Celebrity for going ‘too far’

The new I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Queen of the Jungle Charlie Brooks has lashed out at the show’s producers for involving her daughter in the one of the show’s trials.

Brooks’s daughter Kiki was hidden behind one of four doors in a jungle trial while she and Eric Bristow tried to pick which one had the best prize behind. They did not pick the right door and so Brooks did not get to see her daughter.

Now that she has left the show, Brooks has said that producers went “too far” by involving her daughter. She told the Sun: “I signed up for this show, but Kiki didn’t. I didn’t want her to be so upset. I had no idea this was happening. It was my lowest point. My mum gave the green light for her to be there because it was an opportunity for Kiki to see me – and I think she thought she would.”

She continued: “I felt like I’d been kicked when I realised she had been behind that door. I felt so sad for both of us and I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. I kept picturing Kiki’s face. She would have been excited about seeing me and nervous about being on the show – and then disappointed when we failed the task. Afterwards I went straight up and spoke to the show bosses. They said she ‘had a moment’, but assured me she was okay after they gave her a bowl of ice cream.”

Brooks outrage appears to have stopped short of refusing her fee for the show, however.

BBC and ITV confirm their Christmas Day schedules

Although these days there are a million TV channels and programmes can be recorded or viewed on catch-up with ease, there is still a great deal of interest in what the BBC and ITV have got planned for us on Christmas Day. Well today we found out.

The BBC lead with the now-traditional Doctor Who special ‘The Snowmen’ at 5:15PM (featuring the introduction proper of new assistant Jenna-Louise Coleman) and then a special edition of Strictly Come Dancing.

The big clash of the night is at 8:45 when the BBC have put a festive edition of Call The Midwife against the Xmas Downton Abbey. Downton will win that one.

Then everyone will switch back to BBC1 at 9:45 for the Royle Family Xmas special, which apparently feature Dave (Craig Cash) pitching an idea on Dragons’ Den.

Earlier in the day ITV have a cartoon double bill either side of the Queen’s speech with Toy Story and Tangled. And then a You’ve Been Framed Christmas special and something called Paul O’Grady’s For The Love Of Dogs, which sounds awful.

Elsewhere, the BBC have Boxing Day Xmas specials of unfunny comedy Miranda and even-unfunnier Mrs Brown’s Boys and the final ever Merlin will be shown on Christmas Eve.

Helen Flanagan booted out of I’m A Celebrity with the worst bushtucker performance. Ever!

Former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan became the latest contestant to leave the jungle maintaining that she was proud of her performance despite having achieved the worst performance in the bushtucker trials ever.

Appearing a little dazed and confused as she left the camp to be interviewed about her time on the show, Flanagan described her exit as ‘completely crazy’ given that the jungle had been her entire life for the past two weeks.

Flanagan then asked for a pillow to cringe into as a VT of her best and worst trial moments were shown, with Dec informing her that she was statistically the worst contestant ever after managing five trials without winning a single meal.

Helen Flanagan cringed as she watched back her I’m A Celebrity bushtucker trials:

‘When I first came on the show I thought I’d be able to do all the trials,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think they would be as hard as they were.

‘But even though the trials were bad I’m still proud as I feel I tried my best.’

Helen admitted that Eric had ‘really annoyed’ her throughout her time on the show, but insisted that while she was irritated by her jungle buddies she still ‘loved every single person in the camp’. Yeah right, Helen.

The 10 Best I’m A Celeb Moments

With the current series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here proving a little thin on classic moments we thought we’d trawl the archives to find some highlights from previous series.

Now, admittedly, this list contains a lot of eating trials but, let’s be honest, they are always the best bits. And we have included the greatest trial in the history of the programme. That’s right – Gaffney!

Helen Flanagan and Nadine Dorries 2012

Robert Kilroy-Silk 2008

Joe Swash and Nicola McLean 2008

Part 2

Dean Gaffney 2006

Martina Navratilova 2008

Stacey Solomon 2010

Shaun Ryder and Gillian McKeith 2010

Fatima Whitbread 2011

Mark Wright and Freddie Star 2011

Katie Price and Kim Woodburn 2009

The truth about Brian Conley’s I’m A Celeb exit finally revealed

Conley left I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has been revealed, by Conley himself.

Speaking on Daybreak he said that producers had removed him from the show after he refused to take prescribed anti-depressants.

Conley was only allowed to take part in the show if he took his pills so producers were given no choice but to remove him when he refused. He left shortly after being seen crying as a result of an argument with fellow contestant David Haye.

He says that exhaustion and malnutrition also played a part in the deterioration of his condition: “Two days after six days of not eating, I didn’t have antidepressants. They said if I did not comply with these regulations, then I would not be on the show. I started feeling really bad, and very shortly after that I did have to leave. I found out I was malnutritioned (sic) and I was suffering from exhaustion, that’s what the doctor said. They then sedated me for two days, they gave me a tablet that could knock out a horse and I woke up with a saline drip in my arm. I was thinking, ‘What on earth has happened here?’ All because of a fluffy show that Ant & Dec do. I can tell you it’s not fluffy out there, it’s the real world. It’s tough, real tough.”

The reason for Conley’s exit wasn’t mentioned during the ITV show, only that he had left the jungle and was recuperating.

Conley also says that the jungle experience has helped him with his depression and his reliance on medication to deal with it: “I’ve taken those for 15 years, I’ve had people say, ‘You probably don’t need them now’. I’m proud I stuck to my guns and I got through it, and it’s made me a much stronger man. You’re looking at a man who doesn’t need antidepressants.”