“Only fools on horses” stars named

  • Show jumper Tim Stockdale is training 12 celebrities in time for a nine-day live competition on BBC1 (7-15 July).

    Radio One presenter Sara Cox, Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell and American comedienne Ruby Wax are among the celebs who will jump in front of equestrian expert judges. The nightly TV show, Only Fools on Horses, is in aid of Sport Relief.

    Qualified BHS instructor Tim Stockdale will train the contestants and select their horses, which include some Grade A jumpers, sourced from all over the UK. The celebrities will be installed at an intensive riding academy for the next two weeks, in preparation for the early-evening BBC1 show.

    A team of trainers is supporting Tim, including show jumpers Mia Korenika and Fred Bergendorff, with flatwork instruction provided by dressage experts Jenny Ward and Mary-Anne Trevor- Roper. The contest will take place at Unex Towerlands in Essex, with presenters and judges yet to be confirmed.
    One contestant will be voted out each night, with a select few making it to the final, on Saturday, 15 July.

    For tickets to the event at Towerlands (tel: 0207 610 5572) or email horsetickets @endemoluk.com

    Celebrity line-up

    Sara Cox (31) Sara presents Radio 1’s afternoon show (1pm-4pm) on Saturdays and Sundays. She was born in Bolton and grew up on a dairy farm and used to dream of the horse she could buy if she had all the money in the world.

    Sally Gunnell (39) Olympic gold medallist Sally was most recently on our screens with Run for Glory, where 13 novices were trained to run the London Marathon. Sally is married to fellow athlete Johnathan Bigg and lives in Sussex with their three children.

    Jenni Falconer (30) Jenni presents Entertainment Today on GMTV. Born in Glasgow she now currently lives in south-west London, with her actor boyfriend James Midgely (Shane – Cutting It).

    Suzi Perry (36) Suzi is currently presenting Moto GP for the BBC and The Gadget Show for Channel 5. She lives in west London and her boyfriend is an RAF squadron leader currently on duty in Afghanistan.

    Anna Ryder-Richardson (42) interior designer Anna is best known for presenting the hit BBC shows Changing Rooms and House invaders. She lives in Glasgow with her husband Colin McDougall, a restaurateur, and the couple have two children.

    Ruby Wax (53) American comedienne and presenter Ruby is best known for her chat show Ruby, The Full Wax and Ruby Wax Meets… Ruby is married to Television Producer and Director Ed Bye and lives with him and her two daughters and son in London.

    Matt Baker (28) – Matt became the 28th Blue Peter presenter in 1999 is a bit of dare-devil, not only was he British sports acrobatics champion but he’s still a current hang-gliding world record holder. Matt grew up on the family farm in Durham – where he was surrounded by 3 cats, 5 dogs, 250 sheep, 3 goats, 2 horses, rabbits and chickens.

    Duncan Bannatyne (57) – Serial entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne is most well known for his appearance as a Judge On Dragon’s Den, the BBC2 show where would-be millionaires were given the chance to pitch their ‘big idea’ to a panel of five established entrepreneurs. Duncan hails from Glasgow.

    Felix Dexter (age TBC!) Award-winning comedian and actor Felix was born on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts and moved to the UK when he was 7. Felix gave up a promising law career to become a comedian and loves in north London.

    Diarmuid Gavin (42) Irish television garden designer and presenter Diarmuid is most famous for presenting a number of BBC gardening programmes, the best known being Gardener’s World. He was born in London but grew up in Dublin and continues to live on both cities with his wife Justine Keane and their daughter.

    Matt Littler (24) Actor Matt plays Max Cunningham in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks. Matt was recently nominated for Best Actor category at The Soap Awards 2006. Born in Bury, Matt is a Man United season-ticket holder.

    Paul Nicholas (60) Actor and theatre producer Paul is perhaps most fondly remembered for his role as Vince in the BBC comedy Just Good Friends. Paul began his showbiz career in musicals and has his own production company that next year will take the musical Grease to Broadway. He lives in north London with his wife and their five children.

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