Don’t write off Tumble before it begins

Celebrities falling over is what Saturday nights are all about, says Emma Daly

Celebrities dancing, celebrities eating bugs, celebrities ice skating, celebrities ski jumping, celebrities diving and now… celebrities doing gymnastics.


I know. I can hear the moans. Why do we want to watch familiar faces (sometimes not even that familiar) whip on some spandex, roll around a bit and no doubt hurt themselves in BBC’s new gymnastics show Tumble?

It’s being hailed as Strictly but with gymnastics, which you may never have felt you needed in your life. But when an average of 11.5 million viewers is seen as a bit of a disappointing haul for the final, why wouldn’t the BBC want to emulate its success?

Olympic medallist and Commonwealth Games champ Louis Smith is on the judging panel, alongside world-renowned Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, Commonwealth champ turned broadcaster Craig Heap and cirque artist/aerial performer Sebastien Stella. The One Show’s Alex Jones will take the reigns as host.

Taking on the challenge are 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. 

Change the channel to anything else you may think.

But easy to watch shows, filled with glitter (and let’s face it, rather a lot of flesh on show) are what Saturday’s are all about, aren’t they? I can’t say I ever thought I’d want to watch Ann Widdecombe or John Sergeant do a Tango, but look how that turned out.

I certainly don’t want to order in a takeaway and watch heavy drama on a weekend. I want to watch famous people mess it all up a bit or surprise everyone by being a dab hand at a back handspring.

Cruel? Probably. But I didn’t ask them to sign up, did I?

And frankly, thank goodness it’s not another singing show. I adore The X Factor, enjoy a bit of opera on Britain’s Got Talent and like watching the spinny chairs of The Voice. But bravo to the TV folk for thinking outside the box.

Splash! may not have got past two series, but it got two series. A show about diving off a diving board. I happily watched Mark Wright throwing a box into another box while standing in a box on The Cube the other day.

I’m A Celebrity, with its penchant for getting people eating kangaroo balls, has been going for fourteen series.

I may sound like a fish, surprised each time I swim around my bowl to find a castle there. Dazzled by the bright lights of yet another reality show. But do you know what, I’m happy to check my mind out for a Saturday evening.


Tumble starts this Saturday at 6:30pm on BBC1