Only Fools on Horses: Day One

  • Sara Cox and Sally Gunnell are polishing their riding boots ready for the first episode of Only Fools on Horses tonight (8:30pm). The show, which is the BBC’s latest reality venture, follows 12 celebrity riders saddling up and competing against each other in a nine night charity show jumping event.

    After each leg of the competition the public will vote for who they think is the best rider and each night one competitor will be kicked out of the riding school. In the grand finale, staged in front of the cream of the horse world, the remaining riders will battle it out to be the Only Fools on Horses Show Jumper of the Year. All proceeds from the programme will go to Sport Relief.

    As well as witnessing more of the action on BBC THREE, you will be able to keep up with all the latest from the arena, watch video clips from the show and read about the show jumpers and their horses on bbc.co.uk/onlyfoolsonhorses.

    The 12 fools on horses are:

    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 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. Before participating in the show she had not ridden for four years.

    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). Jenni has ridden before but she broke her thumb and wrist in a fall.

    Josie D’Arby

    Horse lover Josie plays the role of Jodie Finn in the BBC drama Merseybeat. In 2003 she was a contestant in The Games on Channel 4 and received a bronze medal for her efforts

    Suzi Perry (36)

    Suzi is currently presenting Moto GP for the BBC and The Gadget Show for Channel 5. She lives in west London. Before joining Only Fools she had only ridden a couple of times in her life and was not happy going faster than a trot.

    Anna Ryder-Richardson (42)

    Best known for presenting the hit BBC shows Changing Rooms and House invaders, Anna had her own pony when she was younger. 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, a role that has seem him on a horse several times. 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.

    Nicki Chapman

    Nicki has been involved in every aspect of the TV and music industry for over 14 years, working closely with artists, record companies and management groups. Nicki rode a lot as a child and took it up again two years ago.

    Diarmuid Gavin (42)

    Irish television garden designer and TV presenter Diarmuid is most famous for presenting a number of gardening programmes, the best known being Gardener’s World. He was born in London but grew up in Dublin and continues to live in 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 and has only been on a horse a few times in his life and has had no tuition.

    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 and has had very little involvement with horses over his life.

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