Andrew Flintoff: Why I won’t do Strictly Come Dancing

The cricket star reveals his guilty TV pleasure and why The X Factor is so handy

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Let’s say there’s a gun at your head. Which reality show would you choose to go on? 

What kind of gun is it? Because if there’s any chance of surviving it, I’ll happily take my chances rather than go on a reality contest. I’ve been asked to do every one of them. I’ve got to be really interested in anything I do otherwise I won’t do it properly. So for that reason I’ve always said no.

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Cricketers tend to do well on Strictly, though… 
Honestly, my knees are so bad I just wouldn’t be able to throw any shapes on the dance floor. Apart from the occasional bit of dad dancing, I really can’t dance. But I did watch Goughy [cricketer Darren Gough] on it and I thought it was brilliant. 

What about The X Factor? 
It’s good as it means you can get out of the house on a Saturday night. There’s thousands of fellas up and down the country who love The X Factor as they can nip out to the pub for a few hours and their partners don’t even notice they’ve gone. 

When was the last time you shouted at the TV or radio? 
I shout when I’m listening to [former England teammate] Ronnie Irani on Talksport because
I get so frustrated by him. And I shouted at The X Factor the other week. Kelly Rowland said she’d had a dream and started crying, which set Louis Walsh off and he started to cry. At that point I started to shout. Very loudly. 

Which TV series would you take to a desert island? 
The Royle Family. When I was with the England team it was always the first pick of boxed sets to take on tour. We’d also take box sets of The Office and Only Fools and Horses. Our cook wanted to take a boxed set of Lovejoy. I’m afraid we had to draw the line at Lovejoy. 

What’s your guilty TV pleasure?
Coronation Street. I grew up watching Corrie and I still watch it whenever I can. It’s got everything – drama, humour and great characters. I used to watch it even when I was living in Dubai. 

And your favourite film? 
Star Wars. I used to know every word of the dialogue off by heart because my brother and I would watch it over and over again. I’ve seen it more than 50 times. 

What was the last film you walked out of? 
I wish I’d walked out of The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. I said to the missus after two minutes, ‘He’s her husband’. An hour and a half ‘s worth of nonsense later, the big twist at the end is… he’s her husband. Rubbish! If I hadn’t been at home on the couch with the missus, I would have walked after two minutes. 


What’s your favourite TV channel? 
I actually love the Discovery Channel. There’s a fishing programme on there at the moment called River Monsters that’s absolutely fascinating. 


Who would play you in
the film of your life? 

John Candy. He’s dead funny. And the right build. 


What do you usually wake up to on the radio? 
I did a bit for Radio 5 Live in the summer and so I started listening to that station and really liked it. I’m at an age when I think I should really know what’s going on in
the world. And the great thing about 5 Live is that it gives you bite-sized pieces on all the serious, important stuff going on. Now I join in conversations with people and watch the look of shock on their faces when they realise that Andrew Flintoff actually knows about stuff apart from sport. 


You featured in Alone in the Wild, where you had to survive for a few days in the Okovango Delta in Botswana. Are you a Bear Grylls or Ray Mears man? 
Bear is a bit more hardcore so maybe him. But those two are experts. I represented the man in the street’s perspective. I didn’t know what I was doing so I made loads of mistakes. And I’m scared of the dark – something Bear Grylls probably wouldn’t admit to.

Andrew Flintoff is a team captain on A League of Their Own, Fridays, 10pm, Sky1.