Belfast Telegraph

I've got that sinking feeling

By Billy Weir

I had just about recovered, the doctors assured me I was making good progress and that I was almost back to myself, but then it happened – a second series of Splash!

The '!' is most important here as it is usually to be found when terror is around or when we're being ordered to flee a burning pair of Speedos, although most sane people or even insane ones would be asking Splash? Again?

To the uninitiated – and for that you are to be thankful – five 'celebrities' with no experience of diving take to the board under the expert tutelage of Tom Daley – he's been very quiet of late – with hilarious consequences.

Which is more than can be said of possibly the worst idea for a double act since Dustin Gee gave Les Dennis a bell to see if he was available, with Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay returning.

Let's be honest, they both have a bit of previous when it comes to plunging into the murkier depths of light entertainment, with Gabby's I Love My Country and Vernon's Anything He Touches but any programme that leaves you counting down the seconds for Paddy McGuinness' Take Me Out to take over is bordering on cruel.

Not as cruel as subjecting five moderately famous people to degrade themselves by stripping off and then flopping into a pool with varying degrees of grace, athleticism and sporting excellence.

But the excruciating pain, awkward silence and cushion-grabbing make it go away-ness of that is nothing compared to when our intrepid duo try to be funny.

"We're live from Luton, the cozzies are on, the chlorine is on ice," bellowed Gabby and within five minutes we were praying that she'd meant to say the 'chloroform is on ice' but to no avail.

"The atmosphere is electric, which is, let's be honest, a health and safety nightmare because we're so close to the water," added Vernon, a man who was clearly hired due to his connection with Pools. A joke for all you kids out there and unlike Vernon's, one that wasn't made in last year's series.

There was worse to come – we'll get to Jo Brand in a minute – but up first was Michaela Strachan and when she is possibly the most famous of the five celebs on show, you know you're in a spot of bother.

She was quite good, although once Vernon and Gabby returned you wondered did she still have the number of that hitman that used to accompany her many moons ago.

Over-reacting? Read on ...

VK: This place really brings back some very happy memories.

GL: I know, the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the incredible diving (tosses golden mane in Timotei fashion for added effect)

VK: No, I'm talking about finding a quid in the changing room locker, it made my day, spent it on a Fudge.

Not convinced?

VK: They're all safe and sound and talking to Jackie on reception who is trying to give them discount for yoga on Thursdays, she's a lovely lady.

GL: I don't know about that, when my Jaffa Cakes got caught in the machine she wouldn't give me my money back.

VK: That's because you're a girl.

I rest my case.

Then we had the obligatory eye candy from a soap opera with Gary Hobbs from EastEnders joined by some woman off Hollyoaks, before a five-year-old from Diversity and Diana Dors, but on closer inspection it was someone off TOWIE, hence while I will never know her name.

The wee lad, Perri, who it turns out is 18, resisted the urge to winkle into the pool for an amusing play on words, while Diana, who had wintered well, entered the water with the grace of left-over turkey being scraped off a plate into a bin.

Thankfully there's enough turkey to last for at least three more weeks but alarmingly, Jo's main contribution of the evening was to 'joke' that 'I take my glasses off when I'm cage fighting at the Women's Institute.'

Why do I have a sinking feeling that ITV have pencilled that in for the summer schedule under the working title of Women's Institute Cage Killers or WICK! for short, presented by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay.

Belfast Telegraph


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