Show jumping celebs bite the dust

  • It has been all change at the camp of the 12 celebrities brave enough to sign up for the Only Fools on Horses programme. Two of the contestants have already pulled out, as Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon’s Den broke his elbow after demanding a faster horse, and getting what he wished for; and comedian Felix Dexter was forced to retire due to chronic back pain.

    Nikki Chapman of Pop Idol fame, and TV presenter Josie D’Arby have been drafted in as replacements, with a firm reminder that they are certainly not in for an easy ride.

    The other celebrities taking part, Sarah Cox, Sally Gunnel (who had a nasty fall the day the Radio Times visited), Jenni Falconer, Suzi Perry, Anna Ryder Richardson, Ruby Wax, Matt Baker, Diarmuid Gavin, Matt Littler and Paul Nicholas have all been busy learning just how demanding, and unpredictable, show jumping can be.

    Only Fools on Horses trainers: (l to r) Tim Stockdale, Jenny Ward, Fred Bergendorff, Mary-Anne Trevor-Roper, Mia Korenika. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

    Tim Stockdale is on hand to help, but even instruction from a master has not prevented the worst from happening: ‘Pretty much every person has had a fall in the time they have had to train. It really helps you see how tough a sport it is to master,’ said one programme insider.

    ‘They’re having a week off now to recover before the show starts next Friday, but some of the less experienced people are having private tuition to help them develop their skills.’

    The programme begins on Friday 7 July, and ends the following Saturday. The panel of judges will consist of Jodie Kidd, Jessica Kurten and Robert Smith, with Angus Deyton and Kirsty Gallacher presenting. HHO has 20 pairs of tickets to the final up for grabs. Click here to enter.

    Extra footage and behind the scenes interviews will be shown on an alternative programme on BBC3.

    For more information, or to apply for tickets to watch the show live, visit www.bbc.co.uk/onlyfoolsonhorses/.

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