Zoe Ball and Diversity star Ashley Banjo host a brand-new challenge gameshow, Can’t Touch This (BBC1, Saturday, March 26), where contestants must touch prizes to win them…
How would you describe your new show?
Ashley: “This show sees 20 contestants try and win great prizes in a crazy way – by touching prize points along a mammoth assault course. Everything from household appliances to city breaks are up for grabs and someone also gets to ‘leap’ for a car. When I saw the course, I thought it doesn’t matter how fit someone is, this will be tough!”
What makes this different to other challenge gameshows like Ninja Warrior UK and Total Wipeout?
Zoe: “It’s a lot more bonkers! It’s always funny watching people get it slightly wrong and it’s a physical game so there’s lots of splashing and crashing around. Also, Sue Perkins (The Great British Bake Off) provides the commentary throughout the show – she’s hilarious!”
Ashley: “Like Ninja Warrior, Can’t Tough This is a real test of skill, strength, timing and co-ordination, but there’s also an element of luck involved. Also, after round one, the fastest six contestants go head-to-head, so they’re all clambering across nets and jumping for ropes at the same time… it’s brutal!”
Were there tears and a lot of emotion from the contestants?
Zoe: “There were certainly tears from us… pain, laughter and sometimes crying looking at someone else’s pain!”
Ashley: “There were some frustrated tears when people don’t quite get as far as they wanted to. It’s almost like they’ve got that tunnel vision of ‘I will win!’ Then, when they don’t win, they get really disappointed.”
Zoe: “There’s a lot of camaraderie on this show – all the contestants end up supporting the person that gets to leap for the car at the end. You do get to know about the contestants’ families and stuff, so you do get quite emotional. When they did succeed, I did cry a couple of times.”
Were you both keen to have a go on the assault course yourselves?
Zoe: “On the last day of filming, Ashley started throwing himself around and back-flipping into things – but he was about to tour with Diversity, so we knew if he twisted his ankle, that tour would be off! I did jump in the sponge pit and it was like a ‘mum’ forward roll. I’m not naturally sporty – I’m like a sloth, I prefer observing and eating.”
Ashley: “I’d love to have had a proper go, but I have to be the responsible adult in Diversity and lead by example… I’m like the dad!”
Zoe, what does your family think of you doing this show? And, Ashley, are the Diversity boys impressed?
Ashley: “During filming, the boys would ring me up under the pretence that they wanted to know how things were going – but I knew they just wanted to come and have a go on the course!”
Zoe: “My coolness levels definitely went up when my kids heard I was working with Ashley. I took my daughter Nelly to see Diversity – she absolutely loves Ashley and thinks he looks like a Disney prince!”
Ashley, given the show shares its title with a classic MC Hammer hit, can we expect a few dance moves from you?
Ashley: “Although I do love MC Hammer, there’s no dancing involved in the show. But whenever I want to celebrate, I dance, so whenever people won who I wanted to win or people got through I did a little jig!”
And how are you feeling about hosting your first prime-time Saturday night gameshow?
Ashley: “I fronted dance documentary Secret Street Crew, then I was a judge on Got to Dance, but this is the first time I’ve hung up my dancing shoes completely on TV. It’s been brilliant – I’d love to do more.”