From show business to show jumping, twelve celebrities are chomping at the bit to raise money in BBC’s Sport Relief presents…Only Fools on Horses show, from 7 – 15 July, with the live final one of the highlights in The Night of Sport Relief show on BBC ONE.
The celebrities taking part are: broadcaster Sara Cox; athlete and TV presenter Sally Gunnell; TV presenter Jenni Falconer; TV presenter Suzi Perry; interior designer and TV presenter Anna Ryder-Richardson; comedienne Ruby Wax; Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker; successful entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne; comedian and actor Felix Dexter; gardener and TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin; Hollyoaks actor Matt Littler, and actor and theatre producer Paul Nicholas.
They will have to compete in the physically and technically demanding sport of show jumping, with the added pressure of it being in front of a live audience. The competitors are riding professional show jumping horses, which they have to name, bond with and muck-out.
Trainer and celebrated British show jumper Tim Stockdale and his team will help the celebrities get to grips with their horses, the likes of which even the most experienced riders among them will never have ridden before. They are true show jumping horses – strong, tall, slightly scarey and they certainly don’t tolerate fools.
Sport Relief presents…Only Fools on Horses will be primetime on BBC ONE and BBC THREE, with an early evening competition, followed by a results show later in the evening on BBC ONE. Presenters and judges will be revealed at a later date.
How the show will work
Starting today all of our celebrities will be introduced to their horses, which they will quickly name. But that’s the easy part. Over the next month our show jumpers must get themselves to the level needed to compete nightly over jumps that will become increasingly difficult.
For the duration of the show the celebrities will live on-site at the stables in Braintree. Within the stables are: a living/dining room; bedrooms; a tack room; a trainers room, which will be their classroom; the show jumpers kit room, and a training area.
Come Friday 7 July, our show jumpers will jump-off against each other live on BBC ONE every night. They accumulate points for each jump successfully cleared. Judges from the cream of the show jumping world will appraise their performances. The viewers will then vote for who they want to save. Both viewers vote and riders scores will be added together.
The three riders with the lowest scores/votes will do a jump-off and the judges will save one of them. All the saved riders then vote for who they want to save and the rider with the least number of rider votes will be hoofed off the show.
By Saturday 15 July, the 12 riders will have become four. The Grand Final will take place into the flagship Sport Relief show, The Night of Sport Relief. There won’t be any horsing around, this is going to be serious fun. For interviews, news and updates visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/sportrelief.
BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Jon Beazley said: “It’s great news that these twelve celebrities are giving their time for no fee to help raise money for Sport Relief. It’s a big commitment, spending over a week living on site with the horses and working with them all day before the show is on air each night. They have been training hard already, and it’s been particularly tough for the ones who can’t already ride or haven’t ridden a horse for years! The commitment required to take part in the show shouldn’t be under-estimated; this will be a real test for all of them. We’re looking forward to an exhilarating show, and want to encourage people to vote to raise funds for this great cause.”
Chief Executive of Sport Relief, Kevin Cahill commented: “We’re really excited about this programme, it’s going to be hugely entertaining throughout the nine days and one of the many highlights of Sport Relief Saturday. Not only will it be a whole lot of fun, but the money raised from votes is really going to make a huge difference to people’s lives, here in the UK and in the poorest countries of the world.”
The nine-day event is being produced by the team behind Comic Relief does Fame Academy, under Executive Producer Louise Rainbow. She adds: “It’s going to be a whole new world for this lot – a world of rosettes, shiny brass, squeaky leather and horse manure.”
The show will be broadcast nightly from an arena in Braintree in Essex. Members of the public will be able be part of the audience at these shows. The hotline number for ticket info is 020 7610 5572 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.