Remind yourself of the top British Olympians who tested the waters in reality TV – some famously, some forgettably
The Olympics are in full swing, and the stars representing Team GB out in Rio are straining every sinew in a bid to win their place in sporting history. But even if they don’t, they could still become household names by jacking in the day job and going on a reality show. Here are seven British Olympians who have risked their sporting reputations by doing just that…
The heavyweight boxer (above), who won gold in Sydney 2000, failed to float like a butterfly in Strictly, but proved a knock-out in the Celebrity Big Brother House in 2014, finishing as runner-up. And this year, he almost went the distance in the Celebrity MasterChef kitchen, reaching the semi-finals.
Having won silver and bronze medals at London 2012, gymnast Louis swapped his leotard for Lycra and waltzed off with the Strictly title that same year, having formed a winning partnership with pro dancer Flavia Cacace. He followed that up by winning the Strictly Christmas Special two years later and now is doing what he does best, competing for Team GB at the Rio Olympics.
Gymnast Beth won bronze at London 2012 and skated to glory on Dancing on Ice the following year in the company of Daniel Whiston. Triumph turned to disaster in February, however, when she sustained a serious back injury competing in The Jump, forcing her to withdraw from the show.
Queen Vic was a hot favourite to win the 2012 series of Strictly. Paired with Brendan Cole, her regular turning on of the waterworks only turned off voting viewers, who soon put the brakes on the gold-medal winning cyclist’s hopes. A crying shame, but Victoria insisted she enjoyed the experience and promised to ‘keeeep dancing’!
Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards
‘The Eagle’ failed to soar at the 1988 Winter Olympics, finishing last but winning the hearts of millions worldwide. A perfect fit for reality TV, larger-than-life Eddie certainly didn’t dive-bomb in the pool on ITV’s Splash!, seeing off his rivals to win in 2013. Then Hollywood came calling…
Forced out of Splash! by injury, and voted out of Strictly early, the bronze-medal winning boxer is possibly one of the few people who still remembers E4’s Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack – because he was in that, too. Take care, Anthony: participating in too many reality shows can leave you punch drunk!
In 2013, the double-gold winning swimmer was famously reduced to tears while discussing body image with fellow I’m a Celebrity… campers including Amy Willerton. Now Ms Willerton may be a former Miss Universe Great Britain winner, but surely Becky could have put all her jungle rivals on the spot by asking them to ‘Show us your medals’.
Who will by the next Olympian to chance their arm – and take advantage of their public profile – on reality TV?