Richard and Austin through to Splash! semi-final

Paralympian Richard Whitehead MBE and rugby star Austin Healey have filled the last two spots in the Splash! semi-final after triumphing in the fourth heat of the series.

Double amputee Richard – who took to the board without his blades – established himself as a favourite to win the series after becoming the first contestant ever to perform an armstand dive on the show.

And he picked up 27 points – the highest score of the series so far – for his efforts.

“I just think you have an incredible mind,” judge Jo Brand told him, “I thought it was courageous and a brilliant dive.”

Leon Taylor added: “I saw you in training and that is a really good choice of dive.”

While Richard went straight through to the semi-finals following the public vote, Austin Healey made it through after taking on Saturdays star Una Foden in the splash-off.

Although both fared well with the judges Austin pipped Una at the post after performing a more technically complicated dive which involved twisting in mid-air.

Gadget Show presenter Pollyanna Woodward – who dived despite being having received hospital treatment for training injuries just hours earlier – and comedienne Jenny Eclair also took part in Saturday’s show.

Both Richard and Austin will compete in the second semi-final in two weeks’ time.

Next weekend’s semi-final will see Perri Kiely, Danielle Lloyd, Michaela Strachan and Keith Duffy diving again to stay in the competition.