Vernon won’t be making a Splash!

The Bolton News: The Splash! team, from left, Vernon Kay, Tom Daley and Gabby Logan. The Splash! team, from left, Vernon Kay, Tom Daley and Gabby Logan.

AS Vernon Kay prepares to host the second series of Splash!, the Bolton presenter said people should not expect to see him on a diving board anytime soon.

The 39-year-old and co-host Gabby Logan return to screens with Olympic medalist Tom Daley’s diving show on Saturday, January 4.

The first show will see TV presenter Michaela Strachan, Diversity’s Perri Kiely, The Only Way is Essex’s Gemma Collins, ex-EastEnders actor Ricky Groves and Hollyoaks actress Gemma Merna don their swimwear to try to master one of sport’s most difficult disciplines.

Asked if he would like to dive off the highboard, Vernon said: “You’re joking! Even Tom Daley says he still gets nervous on the 10 metre board.

“Standing there looking down, I thought, ‘the guys who are doing this are absolutely mental.’ “When you’re watching on TV, you don’t realise just how high it is. The experts say, ‘don’t look down’, but how can you not?

“It’s so high it’s ridiculous!”

The famous faces will perform live each week in the atmosphere of a packed Olympic size pool — in front of a panel of expert judges as the public vote for their favourites.

Back on the judging panel are Team GB’s diving coach Andy Banks, comedienne, writer and actress, Jo Brand, and former Olympic diving medalist, Leon Taylor. Vernon said: “The first series made a big impact.

“At first it was one of those shows where everybody got confused by its simplicity.

“Then they watched it and said, ‘hang on, this is what it says on the tin. It’s celebrities diving’.

“Initially people just didn’t believe that something so simple could be such fun.

“I think viewers really admire the courage of the celebrities. They are brave people physically and mentally, particularly in this day and age where we are supposed to conform to strict body shapes.

“Watching Helen Lederer slide into the water on a mat or Diarmuid Gavin, who is not the fittest guy in the world, stand there in a pair of lemon coloured trunks and jump off the 7.5 metre board is watercooler TV. I doff my cap to them.”

n Splash! returns to ITV1 on Saturday, January 4 at 7.20pm.

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