Compulsive diver Tom Daley gets his own ITV 1 light entertainment show Splash!, teaching CBB rejects to swim. Give that man a great big coin on a ribbon!
ITV1’s Splash! was a programme billed as chronicling various z-elebs training to high dive with Olympian Tom Daley. Imagine watching Pat Sharp take his Cycling Proficiency under the watchful gaze of Victoria Pendleton, and you’ve got the gist.
“S’pose it could be mildly interesting if it follows their progress documentary-style, really drilling into the dynamics of a gravity-defying sport?”
What we actually get is a kind of a ghastly genetic splicing of BBC’s Total Wipeout, Strictly Come Dancing and say, The Brittas Empire? All screaming moronic crowd, Amsterdam lighting, premium-rate phone numbers and a bizarre cast of characters.
And the celebrity divers. There’s only one reason why they asked Omid Djalili to bellyflop on national TV, and it’s cheap. It’s not as if I’d ordinarily object to watching Jenni Falconer take a soaking either.
But what’s REALLY ironic about Splash! is, you suspect it has accidentally fulfilled its little red ‘briefs’.
You just get the strong sense it’s a product of crossed-wires. “Bring me something more subversive!” shrieked the commissioning editor of ITV1. “Here you go sir, just like you asked for, something more submersive.”
“Damn it kiddo, I lurrrrve it!!”
What next, a pop single? Why not? Perhaps a UK Grime reworking of REM’s “Nightswimming” with Dappy from N’Dubz?
I mean you wonder where the show might have figured in Alan Partridge‘s list of emergency pilots. Presumably below ‘Bog Snorkling with Ruth Madoc’, which I for one would rather watch.
Trouble is, I’m unsure of how much blame I can pin on Tom Daley for this drivel. Which believe me, is troubling. He does what he does doubtlessly very well, so if you swindle your own telly show out of it who wouldn’t? He’s a kid, stuff like credibility and professional integrity are as disposable as Pokemon.
To be fair though, Tom only plays a bit part role. Kind of a pocket-sized motivator uttering insincere words of encouragement and flashing his torso every six seconds.
But yeah, what’s actually going on here is blatant whoring of residual Olympic spirit. It’s simultaneously opportunistic and throwaway enough to fill that awkward Saturday 7:15pm scheduling slot. On ITV2!
Pull your (Verucha) socks up, world…
Splash! with Tom Daley is on ITV1 Saturday’s at 7:15pm