Why Tumble deserves a second series

Any new formats are good by me, especially those with the ability to give our weekends a little lift (and a somersault), says Ellie Walker-Arnott

BBC1’s new entertainment format Tumble comes to a close tonight with the final six celebrities cartwheeling and backflipping it out for the gymnastics crown.

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The show might not have had the warmest reception, being dubbed a Strictly rip-off and criticised for its less than A-list contestants. But I still think it deserves a second series.

Complain as we may, we love sitting down on our sofas and watching celebrities attempt to do things, whether those things are performing complicated routines in skimpy sparkle-encrusted outfits, munching on kangaroo testicles or being buried alive in a coffins full of rats. Don’t pretend you don’t. The ratings – and the endless commissioning of new reality TV formats – speak for themselves.

Though Tumble does have its flaws – it is kind of jumping on the Olympics bandwagon two years too late, and it could do with a few contestants who don’t start the show with six-packs peeking out from under their leotards – it’s without a doubt better than the likes of Splash! and The Jump.

What we are watching these celebrities – z-list or otherwise – do on Tumble is genuinely amazing. In six short weeks they are performing skilful and daring tricks on live TV. Even host Alex Jones, who has seamlessly and solely held each live instalment together, has made an entrance via aerial hoop.

The contestants have transformed their bodies into strong and impressive gymnastics machines. And what they’ve excelled at has been constantly surprising. Who knew Blue Peter’s Peter Duncan would be a natural at rhythmic gymnastics with ribbons?

As opposed to the reality TV shows where talent has taken a back seat, we’ve got genuine experts who have worked hard and excelled in their chosen areas. Nadia Comaneci – three time Olympic gold medallist and the first woman to be awarded a perfect 10 – is gracing the judging panel, for crying out loud.

Plus, Saturday nights are in need of a little revamp. Dancing on Ice is no more. Sure, we still love Strictly Come Dancing but it’s on its twelfth series this year. And The X Factor, with its endless sob stories, is feeling a bit old hat.

Any new formats are good by me, especially those with the ability to give our weekends a little lift (and a somersault.) We just need to give Tumble more time to settle in. Let’s not write it off just yet. 

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Tumble concludes tonight at 6:00pm on BBC1