The London 2012 Olympics were responsible for a huge upsurge in the participation of various sporting disciplines.
Diver Tom Daley was one athlete who saw his popularity rise substantially following a solid showing in the 10m Platform event, and as a consequence was handed the ITV reality show Splash! in which he coached celebs on the finer points of his profession.
Splash!’s poor reviews didn’t stop it from getting a second series; nor did it prevent the Beeb from granting Tumble, which is essentially the same format but on dry land, a chance to prove itself.
Mind you, where Splash! struggled to tread water, Tumble may land firmly on its feet - for it’s brought to us by the team behind Strictly Come Dancing. With such a hugely successful show behind them, it seems unlikely that this pro-celebrity contest will fall short - and they’re not skimping on judging talent either.
Casting a critical eye over the competitors’ best efforts will be none other than world-renowned Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, Team GB medallist Louis Smith, Commonwealth Games champion-turned-broadcaster Craig Heap and aerial choreographer and performer Sebastien Stella. And you thought Craig Revel Horwood was hard to impress...
Presenting Tumble will be The One Show’s Alex Jones, who says “I am thrilled to be hosting this exciting new show, which is sure to offer jaw-dropping stunts and a visual spectacle.
“World super-middleweight boxing champion Carl Froch, singers Amelle Berrabah and Sarah Harding, EastEnders actor John Partridge, former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins, one-time Dynasty actress Emma Samms, Wolfblood star Bobby Lockwood, Loose Women anchor Andrea McLean and former TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh are the stars hoping to dazzle the judges.
BBC Commissioning Executive, Rachel Ashdown, understands what they’re going through. She says, “These celebrities are embarking on a gruelling training regime combining aerial and gymnastic skills. They’ll use them all to deliver breath-taking performances that you’d expect from the department that also produces Strictly.”
It seems like this will be worth following - and unlike Splash! there are no soft landings.
Tumble, BBC1, Saturday 6.30pm