Celebrities will be diving into Luton on Saturday for the first live episode of Tom Daley’s ITV show Splash!
The new series sees famous faces, including model Caprice Bourret, TOWIE favourite Joey Essex and presenter Jenni Falcone, treading the diving board at Stopsley’s Inspire Centre.
Hosted by Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan, tickets are available for poolside seats to see the show, but some unhappy members of the sports centre say this doesn’t make up for the disruption to their swimming.
Speaking to ITV, Olympic diver Tom said: “This is a dream come true for me – an entertainment show all about diving. I’ll be helping the celebrities as they master a dangerous and exciting sport and I can’t wait to get started.”
A team of professional coaches will train the celebrities as they push their limits and overcome their fears to master the grace, skill, athleticism and accuracy needed, to perform dives from the high board.
The participants include Benidorm actor Jake Canuso, Hollyoaks star Jennifer Metcalfe, Sugababe Jade Ewen, comedienne Helen Lederer, ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, and comedian Omid Djalili.
Five of them will compete in heats each week for two places in the semi-final and the first heat on Saturday is expected to involve Jake, Omid, Jade, Jenni, and Helen.
Their efforts will be scored by a panel of judges – Daley, former Olympic diver Leon Taylor, Team GB coach Andy Banks, and comedienne Jo Brand – with viewers voting for their favourites.
In each heat, the celebrity with the most public votes will automatically win a place in the semi-final, with those in second and third places competing in a ‘Splash-off’ for the final place.
The filming will mean members of Inspire Luton will not be able to use the competition pool on January 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, and February 1 and 2.
On Active Luton’s Facebook page, Inspire member Sarah Teale said: “Oh great, once again diving lessons are being moved around. The pool is being hired out to everyone else, the residents of Luton, swimming lessons, diving lessons and gym members just get moved around, they don’t care about us.”
Another member, Russell Davis, said: “They need to reimburse every swim membership for the inconvenience caused and the greed of the local council. It is a joke. My children have only just got their confidence in the water due to the excellent teachers they have on a Saturday. Lost time for them will put them back, so thanks for that!”
Angie Middleton-Price said: “What’s frustrating is that companies like “applause store” only offer tickets to those that “meet their criteria”.
Meanwhile, the annual price rises at the centre took effect from January 1, with an average of 3 per cent increase, although individual memberships remain at £36.
> Splash! starts on January 5 on ITV1 at 7.15pm.